Chamonix Coffee

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We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace.png This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town.
All information here is for historical reference only.

chamonix.jpg

Former Location
620 W Covell Blvd in Anderson Plaza.
Business faces Covell.
Former Hours
6:30AM - 7:30 PM
Former Phone
(530) 753-2745
Business Lifespan
August 2005 - September 2009

Chamonix Coffee is a Cafe that serves typical espresso drinks, coffee, tea, shakes, sweets, and salads. Their mochas are made with chocolate syrup. Tea is $1.75, Muffins and other pastries are $2.25, small cookies $.75. Their large cookies are a bit expensive but really delicious. Desserts are $4.25. They also have almond and chocolate almond biscottis, mini-brownies, and Madelines. Everything is tax included, so you don't have to deal with pennies and small change.

Chamonix also serves hot paninis and cold sandwiches. They have Black Forest Ham and Turkey. Each sandwich is served on a large plate and served with mixed greens salad. Sandwiches are $5.95. They will usually make grilled cheese sandwiches if you do not eat meat. Chamonix's focaccia bread used for sandwiches is from the Village Bakery, along with the pastries as well. The Ciabatta bread usually comes from the Nugget market. Paninis can be a wait, as their panini grill takes awhile to heat up.

Salads are VERY large and come with a piece of bread. Employees are usually pretty flexible about changing some of the ingredients if you'd like.

Atmosphere

Generally very quiet. Usually there is very little talking. Ideal for studying, not so much for chatting. I went there a while ago, in the morning, and it was a little lonely and desolated. I recently went there again, in the evening and it felt (almost too) cozy. So, it depends on when you go. There is adequate space for books on the tables if it's just you... could get cramped with >1 person. The bar along the window is good for laptops or using a single book... but not multiple books or laptop + books. They are very accommodating to people studying — the whole cafe is usually filled with them.

The decor is silly Parisian kitsch. When its warm there are tables with umbrellas outside. The music is a mix of easy-going modern music, Frank Sinatra, Argentinean Tango, and French music. Employees can change CDs while they work (there is a very large selection) so if something is bothering you feel free to ask for a switch.

Other services

Chamonix caters events. There are numerous "Thank You" notes from local Schools and Organizations for donated goods.

They have a free, public access wifi hotspot (2.4 ghz, DSL speed). There are power plugs underneath the long counter along the window, and a few plugs available on the back wall (but sometimes people are sitting in front of them). The public-use LUGOD computer that was located here was removed when the ownership changed back in August 2004.

Miscellaneous

Coffee is self-served and is available half an hour until closing, since the workers leave at closing too.

Chamonix has a selection of newspapers, such as The Sacramento Bee, The New York Times, and the Financial Times, and magazines, such as The New Yorker, US News & World Report, and TIME Magazine. The sometimes have the New York Times for sale.

Prior to 2008, the owner was a Yugoslavian fellow who talked very loudly. He was sometimes around in the early morning, or the afternoon (2-6); otherwise, only one person worked at a time. He was really very friendly and would engage most anyone in a long, probing conversation. The business was sold to an Asian couple.

Recommendations

Apple smoothie with caramel added in. Costs about $3.25 plus tip. You do tip, right? - PaulLanzi

Italian soda. These people have the largest Torani selection I've ever seen, and are highly skilled at mixing flavors. They have started an italian soda craze among my friends. -AnsateJones

The molasses cookies are quite good. They are fairly large (therefore a little pricey) and very chewy. I would even go as far to say they are better than the ones in the Coffee House Bakery. - AbbyLawson

Health Frappe, or the Oreo one. Paninis are very good here, a little addicting in some cases.

The White Mocha is pretty damn good. Although Mishka's makes a better WM, it's always crowded there, so I come here when I want to sit without having make sure my books aren't being soaked by someone's tea bag. - GunIk

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Older Reviews

Current Reviews

2008-08-18 19:21:52   I love this place, when I was there just recently an Asian couple introduced themselves to me as the new owners. The current staff I have met are friendly but not intrusively so, which is important to me. They seem to have a good group of regulars in the morning when I most often go. Do make a point of asking for their "frequent flyer" cards as they do not advertise them, but do give free 11th coffee for every 10 you buy. —HazelWatson


2008-10-20 15:59:36   So Milan, the slime-ball is no longer the owner? Good riddance to him... —AlvinoGina


2008-11-11 00:20:05   Oh my, oh my. Good riddance Milan, you absolute atrocity of a human being. Welcome new owners! The shoes you have to fill could not be any smaller. —JakeJames


2008-11-11 00:24:30   Oh wow, I am so glad that Milan no longer owns Chamonix. He was so creepy when I worked there (not to mention that he fired me for missing a shift because I was in the emergency room). I will now be a loyal customer to these new, hopefully delightful owners :) —Emilie


2008-11-15 06:58:44   Really good music here when one of the owners is working. It's nice to listen to and doesn't distracting from studying. —AceDarling


2008-11-24 15:33:32   So happy to hear that Chamonix is no longer owned by Milan. As I mentioned a while back, I used to be the manager of Chamonix under the owner who built the place from scratch. She could no longer afford to keep the place going, even though the business was fairly healthy. She had a lot of heart, but just needed to learn some basics in accounting, marketing, and operations to be successful in business.

I no longer live in Davis, but I plan to stop by Chamonix during Thanksgiving to see how it is now. Those of you still in Davis and love espresso/americanos, Chamonix and Peet's is the place to go. The espresso machines in those places are fantastic. —ShehryarQamar


2009-01-20 15:41:50   I have enjoyed this cafe since the original owner and even under Milan's regime (though somewhat less of course), but several oddities have cropped up under the new administration and I am feeling a bit vexed. First off, the ambiance has become rather flat. An altar to Buddha brightens things a bit, but four ominous looking black security cameras have been installed. Second, as with Milan, the same music plays over and over, day in and day out, though in this case the music is a mix of variously intolerable songs that do not go well together (the duck song does not go with anything). Third and worst, the staff have a habit of sitting in the back room and can be hard to rouse if you want something. TIP: go and open the door, setting the door bell off, to get the barista to the front. Also, the tea selection is declining. The blond woman who works there is the best in terms of conviviality and service. Some of the others should not be in customer service, as they seem wildly cheerless and can bring down a pall on the place. For example, one of them just sharply reprimanded a woman in a loud voice from behind the counter for eating outside food. He could have gone over to her and asked her politely to not bring outside food in. I imagine she wont be back.

I love this cafe for its location and quietness, but I am afraid the new owners will not succeed. Yikes!


2009-03-30 14:13:55   Didn't know about the regime change...but now a couple of oddities are explained. I'm a sporadic customer of Chamonix, usually stopping by for a coffee on my way to an evening meeting. The last couple of times, there has been no brewed coffee made/ready and the staff didn't seem to be 'up' for making any. It's one thing if it's 1/2 hr till closing, but this was at like 5:30 in the afternoon, when there hours are 'till 7:30 listed, and (at least used to be) much later during peak study times. —RocksandDirt


2009-04-10 10:14:16   I am a very generous person when it comes to rating service, but this was ridiculously terrible. I went one day and stood at the counter for several minutes before anyone would come help me. Finally, I ordered my white hot chocolate and sat down to attempt to enjoy it. I took one sip and it was positively vile—and it tasted like it had an ingredient I'm allergic to. So I went to the counter calling the person from the back with "Excuse me...excuse me, please?" She didn't come to the counter for a full ten minutes, by which point I'd figured out it didn't actually have the ingredient I was allergic to, since I was still standing. But if it HAD included it, I could have been incredibly ill in the time it took her to get to the counter, and I didn't want to induce vomiting into my cup if I didn't have to. I am never, ever going back—the drink was disgusting, and the service was far worse. —KarinaSummers


2009-04-15 11:38:27   Good Coffee! Better than Starbucks and their dirty sewage water. The service if iffy depending on who is there.
The blonde women is helpful and always upbeat.
Other times there is another younger girl working and young man that basically ignore the customers. They sit in the back on the computers and have to be beckoned to the front. They never attend to the cleaning and the coffee supply always seems to be out when they are working.
3 out of 5 BUT depending on who works
can be a 4 out of 5
I suggest new hires. —LotsofThoughts


2009-04-25 19:50:45   Well, I think the end is near. I agree that the service is very poor, (except for the blonde woman—sorry, I dont know her name) who is excellent. While working in Chamonix, I watch people come in one after another and find themselves standing at the counter wondering how to get some service. This is mildly entertaining.)

Today, the cafe struck back. I was working there for about three hours at the window counter. I had bought food and some tea, for about $6, when I'd arrived. I'd considered getting some more tea, and would have already, but was involved in doing something. Then....an unexpected tap on the shoulder. The barista, who I believe is one of the owners, asked me if I would like to buy another drink, as their policy was that we consumers should buy something every 2 hours. Now I can understand the cafe's issue with having a seat occupied for hour after hour with no income generated IF that occupied seat was costing them something—like preventing another paying customer from sitting, or using up internet bps or sucking up valuable oxygen or some such. However, at this particular time the place had the forlorn emptiness of an all night 7/11 at 3 in the morning. I thought about arguing against the logic of this policy. I thought about pointing out that if I bought a cup of tea every two hours, I could have been there legally for 6 hours, and still not spent as much as I had already spent. Instead I decided in that instance to never come back to this bleak outpost, this dead zone in an otherwise vibrant cafe scene. And so, I said decisively but politely, "no, I will leave and not trouble you anymore". And on the way out, the barista called out to my back a cheerful "thank you!". —MichaelPlotkin


2009-05-18 01:06:42   I enjoyed my time at this place. I especially liked the young Asian man with the spiky hair that took my order. He was very kind and welcoming in greeting me and biding my farewell. I would go back because of him. —EricWilliamWong


2009-05-20 00:56:04   I went to Chamonix for the first time last Sunday and found it very pleasant place to study and get away from the heat. This place is also WAY less crowded than Starbucks since Starbucks has massive long lines. I felt the young asian man working was very courtesy and friendly and I will definitely go back to Chamonix again. —Andyboy


2009-05-31 10:46:46   I went there on a random day. I was really feeling for a Vietnamese iced coffee, so I asked a for a recommendation from the barista, who was a young asian guy. He directed me to the French coffee or something. I thought that he was very helpful and considerate about how picky I was that day. The coffee was pretty nice. I would go back there again. —TemPhat


2009-06-17 15:29:02   I hear many negative comments about Milan, but I thought well of him! He provided solid service and he remembered me as a patron, even when I had been gone in Europe for a year! Upon seeing me, he asked me about my trip, and I appreciated his friendliness. I was sad to hear of his departure, but I had been a loyal Chamonix customer for several years and I decided to give the new owners a try.

My patience has about run out. The service is terrible (asides from the blonde girl, who seems to be more helpful with everyone, from the other comments) and the feeling of a good study environment has left. Also, now it closes early, and the late hours were the primary reason I began coming here in the first place. Lastly, now that summer has arrived, it is very hot in here! I asked the worker to turn on the A/C, which she did... for maybe 5-10 minutes. Then she turned it off, and it instantly became sweltering hot again. I'm actually sweating inside a coffee shop! She also sits using her computer, playing loud and unpleasant music with clapping and other noise. Simply put, the cool, pleasant environment that was so conducive for reading is gone. In its place is a noisy oven with apathetic servers. A real tragedy. From the dying number of customers, I'd be surprised if this place exists in another few years. (I'd also like to point out that an empty coffee shop in Davis is a rarity! Often, you can't even find an open seat at other places.) —DanWollrich


2009-06-30 16:25:46   I have been to Chamonix a few more times since my first visit and two of the workers there are very courteous. However, other times, it has been bad due to the lack of service of the other workers. Also, my drink tends to taste a lot better with the better two workers. If you are lucky, a blonde girl named Casey(?) or a young asian male named Andrew will be working. —Andyboy


2009-08-08 00:07:36   Perhaps I was a bit harsh. I agree with Andyboy's 2009-06-30 comment. —DanWollrich


2009-09-27 19:22:18   I love their turkey panini. Its very good but too bad they dont always have it. —kkash


2009-10-04 14:03:29   Walked over this morning for a coffee and...it was completely cleared out. I guess they went out of business? —CindiDrake

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