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June 08, 1995|LEO SMITH

Vicky Clarke, owner of Standing Room Only Bakery in downtown Ventura, keeps up on current affairs. That explains the palm tree-shaped sugar cookies she's currently selling.

"It's in honor of the downtown renovation," she said.

For those who don't know, the planting of palm trees throughout the downtown area is a major focus of the renovation.

The bakery at 518 E. Main St. has been around for 13 years, with Clarke and business partner Carol Hughes purchasing it 1 1/2 years ago. Last month Clarke bought out Hughes.

Clarke also sells her baked goods and coffee out of Holiday House in Oxnard's Heritage Square. Holiday House is a gift boutique and home to the Oxnard Art Assn. It is at 750 S. B St.

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As part of a major Southern California expansion, the Boston Market chain of restaurants opened a Ventura establishment two weeks ago.

The 10-year-old chain, which originated in a Boston suburb, specializes in rotisserie chicken meals. Plans are in the works to open 200 to 300 Boston Markets in Southern California within the next five years. Simi Valley is scheduled to get one in late September.

Along with the chicken, the Ventura restaurant offers ham and turkey meals, with a nice long list of side dishes. Choices include butternut squash, garlic-and-dill new potatoes, corn, creamed spinach and, of course, mashed potatoes. Boston Market is at 1727 S. Victoria.

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About 40 wineries are scheduled to participate in Sunday's ninth annual Ojai Wine Festival at Lake Casitas, sponsored by the Ojai West Chapter of Rotary International.

Guests will be able to sip samples provided by Austin Cellars, Firestone Vineyard, Leeward Winery, Ojai Winery, Old Creek Ranch Winery, Daume Winery and Brander Vineyards, among others.

To wash down the wine, food will be served up by Sea Fresh Seafood, Marty's Catering, the Gaslight Restaurant, the Silver Garden Chinese Restaurant and, of course, the famous Ojai West Rotary Club BBQ team.

The festival will run noon to 5 p.m. Tickets, which include nine wine samples and a souvenir glass, are $18 (adults at the door), $15 ( adults in advance), $10 (adults not drinking alcohol, and guests ages 13 to 20); children under 12 with an adult are free. There will be a $2 parking fee. Call (800) 648-4881.

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