Shoe store drama continues, Tim’s reopens

Davis shoe store Owner Jason Velebit is facing jail time for a drug arrest made three days after his sister, Melissa Skinner, died of pancreatic cancer.

Jason Girard Velebit, 45, of Davis was arrested Jan. 5 on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a methamphetamine pipe. The arrest followed a traffic stop in Lincoln for a missing rear plate. He was scheduled to appear in Placer County Court on October 7, but that went ahead.

“There’s always more to the story than meets the eye,” he said in two lengthy voicemails — the only response I’ve received in several months. He said a failed relationship led to his relapse in 2020 after 17 years of sobriety. “It was either sticking a gun to my head or sticking a needle in my arm, and that’s what I chose to do.”

In 2021, he said he started getting clean again. That is, until his sister died on January 2 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 42 years old.

Velebit said he and Melissa had a fight. “I hadn’t really spoken to her in months when she passed away. … After a year of abstinence, I fell. I had run-ins with the law. Since then, I face time.

When he took over the Davis Shoe Shop in April, he wanted to get the store back on its feet. He has been in their family since 1986. But knew he was facing legal disputes. In July, he enrolled in an outpatient program for his addiction.

He says he fights with his brother-in-law, Evan Skinner, over the management of the store and the funds. The machinery was damaged. Velebit’s daughter moves into the house next to the store to help out. He said he hopes to reopen it in February or March.

“My personal challenges were a big hurdle,” Velebit said. “I try to do what I can do, and the rest when I get out (of prison).” He expected to go to jail for about 60 days after the October 7 court date, but did not respond to my

Evan Skinner of the Davis Shoe Shop writes out a work order for five of Lisa Lengtat’s shoes in October 2021. Lengtat paid cash up front — about $100 — for adjustments to five left-foot shoes that she didn’t haven’t seen since. (Lisa Lengtat/courtesy photo)

questions now that it has been postponed.

Frustrated customers posted notices on the door, begging to get their shoes and prepayments back. “People write ‘fraud’ and ‘liar’ on my door. It’s not like that. It’s not like I take people’s shoes and money. Importantly, I never took their money, honestly. I’m just trying to navigate this. (He blames others who I won’t name).

I’ve received dozens of messages from customers asking for help getting their shoes back. One of them is a neighbor, Lisa Lengtat, who left five shoes at the store in October 2021. When she learned of Melissa Skinner’s death, she gave it some extra time.

“I’ve been trying to get them back since last April, but it’s still closed,” she said. At this point, “I don’t care about fixing my shoes – or the money. I just want my shoes.

Lengtat said hip surgeries have made shoes a big deal for her. “(The Shoe Shop) helped me after my first hip replacement eight years ago. I ended up being about half an inch taller (on the right side) so I needed a lift added to the sole of my shoes so I could walk.

She was happy with the cobbler’s work. “They saved my life,” she said.

“I knew I was going to end up with my legs the same length after my other (hip) was replaced. That’s why I had to take my shoes off last October to have the “lift” removed from my favorite shoes.

She paid cash in advance – about $100 – for these adjustments. These favorite shoes are still trapped in the store, where they have been for 12 months.

I messaged Velebit, offering to help set up a separate public collection site for customers like Lengtat. He did not answer.

The boutique, located at 223 C St., has been part of the community since 1946. Jason and Melissa’s parents, Jay and Cherese Peterson, retired in 2014.

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Tim’s kitchen is open again – in a new, larger location. Formerly at 516 Second St., Suite B, the Asian restaurant closed on June 6 to move to 808 Second St.

Tim’s Kitchen is open at 808 Second St. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy Photo)

Good to see a popular restaurant filling this space, which has been vacant for Our house closed in September 2019.

Tim’s Kitchen offers the same Hong Kong-style café cuisine as before. Next year, after a planned expansion of the kitchen, the menu will also expand. They also plan to apply for a license to sell beer and wine. It is open every day from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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A dog daycare is in the works for South Davis. A Davis couple signed a lease for the former Tuesday morning space at 417 Mace Blvd. They plan to open a Dogtopiaa franchise that offers dog day care, boarding and “spa” treatments.

Cindy Hespe will lead the company. She owns it with her husband, Wayne Wiebe, but he keeps his job as a plant pathologist with HM Clause at Davies. Hespe is a former hospital pharmacist.

Hespe said permits are pending and they are still receiving bids for construction. They hope to open it in February.

Dogtopia has several other stores in Northern California, including Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, San Jose, and two in the Dublin area. Its website is

“We have looked at several franchise options, but the commitment to canine health and safety is top notch. Also, the Dogtopia Foundation is amazing; we will raise funds for service dogs for the military, support youth literacy programs and hire autistic adults.

The Davis location will include two dog wash tubs for use by its staff and will offer grooming services. The 5,528 square foot space includes a reception area, kitchen, spa and three game rooms. Dogs are grouped by size: under 20 pounds, over 20 pounds high energy, and over 20 pounds low energy.

“The walls will be insulated with soundproofing to ensure we meet city sound standards and are good neighbors,” Hespe said.

She said the franchise provides access to an environmental biologist, canine behaviorist, veterinarians and more. “I will be undergoing extensive training on dog behaviors, dog illnesses/health, etc,” she wrote in an email.

Kaya FIT lives at the back of the building.

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I heard from Esther Son, owner of Estelle Bakery & Pastry. She said plans are being finalized for her bakery, which will fill the former Austrian pastry cafe Konditorei space at 2710 Fifth St.

When Konditorei closed in February, Son bought it, saying she hoped to open in Davis in the early fall. On Thursday, she said after some delays, her group of architects is set to submit construction plans to the city. She said the architectural and engineering firm has struggled with understaffing over the past year.

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ink monkey turns 20 next month. Owner Jason Steenbergen started the screen printing business in November 2002 at 2500 Fifth St.

Before Ink Monkey, Steenbergen was co-owner Screaming Squeegee, which he started in 1987 as a student at UC Davis. Thus, it has equipped the community with branded equipment for 35 years.

The name Ink Monkey is a spinoff of the automotive repair industry term “great monkey”. It operates with up to a dozen employees who occupy approximately 6,000 square feet and prepare orders for customers throughout the region.

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Missed a column? Wondering when a new business opens? Check out my Google no-paywall spreadsheet, which includes over 325 Davis companies coming and going. It’s at

— Wendy Weitzel is a Davis writer and editor. His column runs on Sundays. Check for frequent updates on his Facebook and Instagram Comings & Goings pages. If you know of a business coming or going in the area, email them at [email protected].

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