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If you’ve been by Nora’s Bistro in...

If you’ve been by Nora’s Bistro in Ojai this week, you may have noticed a life-size sign--a waitress, Nora, holding a chalkboard featuring the day’s specials--located on the Montgomery Street side of the establishment.

So what? Well, the fact that she is still out there is significant. The city, cracking down on its enforcement of a 13-year-old sign ordinance, had determined that the sign (and another like it on the Ojai Avenue side of the restaurant) conflicted with the guidelines.

But last week owner Amy Schneider and city officials worked a compromise. It allows the Montgomery Street sign to remain outside, with the other sign kept inside, but facing out. No doubt the move pleased customers--at least the eight pages worth--who signed a petition in support of the signs.

Nora’s is at 423 E. Ojai Ave.

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Folks at Mullarkey’s in Oxnard plan to get into the spirit of the California Strawberry Festival today, when they begin serving the California Strawberry Tart Caribbean. Chef Timothy Banning will prepare this dish that beat out more than 400 entries to win the Strawberry Festival’s Berry-Off Recipe Competition. The dessert is made of cream cheese, coconut, lime, and uh-huh, strawberries.

Mullarkey’s is in the Radisson Suite Hotel at 2101 W. Vineyard Ave. The festival is May 21-22.

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It’s not every restaurant that celebrates its first anniversary with bagpipes. But that’s what Ron Horn, owner of Simi Valley’s Buchanan Arms Restaurant & Pub, plans to do June 2.

Buchanan Arms, which has a 17-year-old sibling in Burbank owned by Horn and his parents, specializes in British fare. There’s roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips (the most popular dish, said Horn). The place also serves up steaks and burgers for those who prefer good old all-American food.

Horn has weekly Friday night sing-alongs and occasional special guests. This Saturday, Des Regan’s Irish Band will make an appearance.

How did a guy whose speech sounds completely Californian came to own a Scottish/British pub? “I was born in Glasgow. We came here in 1963, when I was 2 years old,” said Horn. “I know I’ve lost my accent; I went to school in the Valley.”

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Buchanan Arms is at 5835 E. Los Angeles Ave.


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