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|Beware if you are short on cash: although Mishka's has now started accepting credit cards to which they add a 50 cent charge. This type of charge ["Credit Card Minimum Purchase" is not allowed] and patrons should mention this to the manager. The nearest ATM is down the street at the ["Golden 1 Credit Union"], next to ["Hunan"].||Beware if you are short on cash: although Mishka's has now started accepting credit cards to which they add a 50 cent charge. This type of charge ["Credit Card Minimum Purchase" is not allowed], but remains in place. The nearest ATM is down the street at the ["Golden 1 Credit Union"], next to ["Hunan"].|
|514 2nd Street (between D & E Streets)|
|M-Fri: 7:00AM-11:00PM, Sat-Sun: 8:00AM-11:00PM|
Mishka's Cafe Coffees, Teas & Roastery was founded in 1995 by UC Davis Graduate student Sinisa Novakovic (whose name is pronounced more like "Sin-ee-sha," and who bears more than just a passing resemblance to Morrissey) and his former wife, Bobbi Bohart. It is a café founded "in the Old World tradition: a cozy place to meet a friend, converse, read, and relax." Mishka's is home to one of the two coffee roasters in Davis (Cloud Forest Cafe is the other). Mishka's usually refers to the town, in jest, as The People's Republic of Davis), and they serve only organic and fair trade beans. The bean origins and local roasting aim to create fair-trade coffee that is considered one of the best in town. The cafe is named after one of Sinisa's cats.
They serve cappuccinos and espressos and all the other usual coffee drinks. Try one of Mishka's signature drinks, the Dark Balkan Night - a triple shot mocha! The pastries and truffles come from a local artisanal chocolatier. The baklava is notable amongst them.
In addition to drinks, Mishka's also has a nice selection of pastries and confections such as croissants, macaroons, baklava, and chocolate truffles. When purchasing pastries, inspect carefully to see if they have been sitting out for a long time, as they do get dried out after a while if no one has ordered much lately. If you do receive a dried out or otherwise distasteful pastry, you can take it back (provided you haven't eaten half of it already) and ask for a refund or a different item. Many might consider the truffles to be the best in town, better than the ones at Ciocolat, a chocolate-dessert-centered business. The truffles are made by a local outfit called Vevey Confections. You can also find them at Common Grounds. They have green tea ice cream. The chicken noodle soup is believed to be Campbell's, although there are some doubt this. Check out the ice cream latte.
Mishka's has wireless access. Sometimes, the internet modem/router needs to be reset. If you are sitting close to the south wall the Apple Airport has the middle led lit by itself, and your internet is out, that is a good sign that a reset must be made. Ask the cashier if they can reset it. It is also home to the largest Apple laptop user base encountered at any of the Davis cafes. Mishka's regulars are generally not undergraduates, but rather graduate/professional students, professors, and business people. The congregation of professionals and the bounty of expensive laptops gives some the impression that Mishka's is a snooty café.
Beware if you are short on cash: although Mishka's has now started accepting credit cards to which they add a 50 cent charge. This type of charge is not allowed, but remains in place. The nearest ATM is down the street at the Golden 1 Credit Union, next to Hunan.
They used to offer real whipped cream, but now use stuff from the can. Bring back the real whipped cream! And it still costs extra for whipped cream, even though it's fake now.
Many have commented that the music selection (2003-2005) at the cafe has been rather limited, consisting mostly of Manu Chau, the Amelie soundtrack, Buena Vista Social Club, Gypsy Kings, etc. You can hear the same albums repeat if you stick around for a while. It's suggested that if you plan on staying or coming here frequently that you bring your own music. More people need to bug the owner (not the employees) about getting new music into the cafe's playlist. But, hey, at least it's not Dave Matthews band like at Starbucks.
At the present time, the music list contains 3689 songs set to shuffle by album at random. They claim that every corner of the Mother Earth is represented in the selection.
Overall, the café has a warm and earthy atmosphere due to the orange walls, wood furniture, black accents, and soft lights.
Unspoken, unofficial etiquette for students: after spending significant time at Mishka's, students develop a tacitly shared 'student-specific' etiquette, an understanding that, unlike many cafés where talking without concern for distracting one's neighbors may be winced at but accepted all the same, Mishka's is an exception. Because this venue is primarily frequented by researchers of all sorts, predominantly graduate students, a premium is placed on quiescence for the sake of studious focus. Implicit acceptance of this etiquette is seen whenever cellular calls or quiet conversations that rise to a distracting pitch are, out of politeness, moved outside. Chatting boisterously with a friend is a happy sight at Mishka's, where studiousness more often reigns, but if one wishes to remain mindful of the (unofficial) etiquette adopted by students, the front room or the tables outside are viewed as more appropriate locales for high-volume chatter. This view, it should be noted, is not held by everyone, and although non-students rarely flout Mishka's unstated etiquette, the interplay between the initiated and uninitiated can sometimes lead to unnecessary conflict. So, when frustrated by distracting neighbors who fail to understand that their voices carry beyond the narrow radius of their chairs, do be kind in manner towards them, for they may not understand that there is, or ought to be, any etiquette peculiar to Mishka's.
Here are some general tips for finding the right time to study at Mishka's: it seems to be quieter during the day and gets progressively louder at night. Some find focus impossible when the coffee roaster is running (usually at night), while others welcome a droning background noise to drown out chatter (which is less often a problem at Mishka's, per the etiquette above). If you are more sensitive to noise levels and wouldn't deign to use an iPod or earplugs, shuffling around until you settle on a more quiet spot can sometimes be difficult; but rest assured, such efforts are not irrational and even shared by many students and university faculty who prefer cafés over the spartan confines of a library (even libraries these days do not guarantee a studious atmosphere, sadly).
The Rule explained: Mishka's is such a popular studying place that by the late nineties it became impossible for casual cafe-goers to find a table. In response, Mishka's management declared some tables "study-free zones". Attached only to the tables at the front of the café is The Rule. Nowadays there's almost always a place to sit and flip through the day's San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Sacramento Bee, or California Aggie. As of the summer of 2005, The Rule had been updated to be much funnier and fluffier, but retained the same meaning. Additionally, some time in 2005 they constructed a "wall" to divide the studying section and the casual section of the cafe.
Many customers are "flustered" about the rule. The rule prohibits laptops and studying, complete with piles of books, binders and highlighters. It welcomes newspapers, magazines, book-reading, game playing and friendly conversation. Basically if you are hiding in your laptop or are cramming for a midterm, go sit in the back.
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More Current Reviews
2008-01-27 00:54:27 The people that frequent this place are rude and it really turns me off. I don't ever plan on returning - it's not worth it to me and I don't need to experience the sad side of humanity. You're not that cool, Mishka coffee drinkers! It's not cool to do rude things and be so full of yourselves! —ChristyMarsden
2008-01-29 12:51:57 the entire staff at mishkas is a group of completely incompitent, arrogant, and disgusting people. They're rude and have no idea what it means to be in ......CUSTOMER SERVICE. if i were the owner i would fire everyone that currently works there and find a brand new staff. —RayLo23
2008-01-29 19:42:27 Had a wonderful visit there today. The staff was very friendly and helpful and efficient. My drink wasn't quite as good as it normally is, but still very enjoyable. They're one of the best places in town to get good fresh beans too. —WesHardaker
2008-02-10 20:53:53 My girlfriend and I decided to check out Mishka's cafe this afternoon to get some coffee and do some studying. We had never heard about "the rule" before so we grabbed a seat up front since all the seating in the back was taken. My girlfriend ordered a large drink, which they had no problem charging us for even though she already had her laptop open.
They put the drink out without announcing it was ready. This seemed rude but I shrugged it off. Then, after a minute, one girl came over to my table and asked us to relocate into the back or leave. She said the front area was reserved for non-students and no laptops were allowed. I asked her if we could wait with our drink until a seat opened. She said no, unless we wanted to wait outside, where it was cold. I couldn't understand why because we were the ONLY people in the front area and there was no one waiting for our seats. I mentioned this and she rudely told us to leave. We had just PAID for a drink and we were being denied seating, I felt robbed and my girlfriend looked like she wanted to burst into tears.
Mishka's employees seem to be rude, mindless bureaucrats, and so my girlfriend and I decided that we will never return there. This was by far the worst first impression I've ever had at a Cafe. Judging by the other comments, the place is pretty unsanitary as well so I suppose its a good thing the horrible employees chased us off for good. —Loccster
Just out of curiosity, what were you doing at your table while you were waiting for your drink (I'm guessing you were at one of the Rule tables)? Because if you were studying while you waited, then that'd make sense since you were obviously breaking the Rule. I'm guessing the reason you were actually able to sit down at all was because the Rule exists (if anyone sat here, its usually because the non-Rule tables were all full). If there was no Rule, then you most likely would not have had even that table open since they'd be packed by more people (students and non-students alike...hopefully). And as far as being ignorant of the Rule, its labeled on all the tables it applies to. And they don't bend the Rule for anyone because it sets a bad example and future precedence for more Rule-breakers to follow ("Why can't I sit here too? That guy just did..."). From the way you describe the incident, it sounds like you were trying to argue the Rule (it is called the "Rule" for a reason). Being a student, I understand the demand for study spots, but I also appreciate a cafe owner reserving places for people who aren't there to study and have to wait for seating just to enjoy a beverage, the morning newspaper, or just to sit with a friend. I don't mean to be unsympathetic, but it is basically a non-study zone and is officially a reserved-seating area. The closest analogy I can currently think of would be like a smoker being asked to leave a non-smoking zone (although I'm not trying to equate smoking to studying, obviously). —SunjeetBaadkar
I would have in fact preferred all the tables were empty so that we could have gone somewhere else *before* ordering. I am aware that the rule was on the table, but being our first time there we didn't see it. Most people don't read bulletins around them because we are so used to advertisements, and we placed our stuff on the table as well, effectively occluding "the Rule".
2008-03-29 11:24:14 Ahhh, Mishka's. Can't get any more Davis than Mishka's. I like the idea of Mishka's, but I'm not crazy about the place when I'm actually there. "The Rule" doesn't bother me except when they go too far with it ( as in Loccster's case, that's just unneccessary and tacky for a business). Anyhow, I find this place too noisy and pretenious. The staff and customers take this place way too seriously. Oh and if you say anything about it, they get all, "How DARE you!" Friends have even given me the stank eye for saying such things. But I don't care because I don't recognize Mishka's as anything more than a crappy coffee shop. My suggestion is go check it out at least once. Then go elsewhere. —CurlyGirl26
2008-03-29 11:40:39 Oh and as a student, I totally empathize when it comes to finding decent study spots. It sucks to see that all the study tables are full and the front is empty. But I also think that it's important for the chatters, readers, et al, to have a place to sit and enjoy their beverages. The place came to a compromise and I think that's pretty cool. They just want to ensure that there are spaces available, which is reasonable. They just don't want ALL of their tables filled up by the people who order a $1.85 cup of coffee and park there for nine hours. —CurlyGirl26
2008-04-29 18:59:44 Wow, they probably have one of the rudest wait staff in the world. Their chai sucks, but they do have great tea flavors. This place is almost always full, I think many regulars come in to Mishka's early in the day and stay until nighttime. Mishka's should think about expanding the amount of space available and follow Coffee Grounds' example. —morpheus8100
2008-05-27 17:30:36 their thai iced tea is delicious, and it's overall a great environment. —film
2008-05-31 12:05:57 Morpheus8100, you are in luck! They ARE expanding, via moving to a new location just a block away next door to the Varsity. I'm not sure what "wait staff" you are referring to, but I've personally only had very positive interactions with their employees. I never used to go to Mishka's because of the lack of seating, then one day I tried, got a seat, and I haven't had trouble getting a seat since. I guess I'm lucky. —KernHaug
2008-05-31 17:19:17 It's true that Mishka's is going to be opening up a new place, but the actual retail floor space is only going to increase by about 100 square feet. —JeremyOgul
2008-06-18 14:06:18 So I tried the "French" Soda, and instead of a splash of half&half, the cup was 3/4 full. It tasted AWFUL. I came back and asked for a refund/free drink and the girl who was working just gave me a blank stare. I told her that I've been a customer for 4 years and she still refused to give me a refund. I'm thinking about going to Peet's instead. This is hard to say, but loyal customers deserve to be treated with respect.
Also, the cafe has become increasingly dirty over the years. The floors never appear swept, and the staff is less than professional. I've noticed that the owner is there less. That may be the reason why. —EmilyHughes
Good, that'll mean more seats at Mishka's. Sorry, but they don't owe you a free drink because you tried something new and didn't like it. I have also been a customer for over 4 years, tried a French soda once, and hated it. The difference is that I know that if I try something new (especially something that is described as "French"), I might not like it and the money I spent is the cost of learning that. They already let you nurture an espresso for four hours while using their electricity and WiFi, now they're supposed to comp you for poor judgement? — JesseSingh
Well...I got the drink to go, walked outside, came back with an almost full drink...I think that deserves some sort of consideration for a refund. I still go there, I just stay clear of the French sodas!! In any case, I'm looking forward to their new location...hopefully it'll be done before I'm out of grad school! EmilyHughes
2008-08-12 00:36:57 A good selection of teas (mainly from The Republic of Tea and Kusmi/Kusmichoff's) that comes in a pot AND isn't brewed to death (i.e. Crepeville)= a good cafe by my definition.
I do wish they carried more teas and I wouldn't disagree that for proper tea snobs, the Tea Fortes at Ciocolat make much more decent teas...but I suppose the complaint is mere wishful thinking, given that other Davis cafes don't selection (save perhaps Ciocolat, but I don't think Ciocolat offers teas in pot-form).
I used to get their cappuccinos with a syrup shot a long time ago and they were divine, but I am not sure if the quality is still the same....for those who don't drink coffee/espresso but still want something resembling those yummy espresso drinks, I'd suggest trying the "mate latte" made from yerba mate.
Not sure I dig the idea of Mishka's re-locating next to Varsity and messing with the tank house though... —il
2008-08-28 00:47:49 I like this place so far.. I've only been there once but have a feeling I'll go back often. It's a cliche coffee shop, and the baristas were very nice. My iced latte was really just an iced coffee with milk (Peet's does better with that one), but it was extra creamy and delicious. —Lala
2008-08-28 12:25:18 Mishka's is my favorite cafe in Davis — a Mac-friendly place to get some work done and to run into friends. The orange walls keep me awake. —DrandyJones
2008-12-04 12:04:55 This isn't as much a complaint about Mishka's as it is about some of the people who frequent it. You are entitled to as much space as that chair gives you at the table. It is not appropriate to sprawl all of your belongings across the tables to give yourself two more spaces. If you need that much space, go to the library or something. Some people do that and it really bugs me. This isn't the fault of Mishka's though, just some of the rude, inconsiderate people who go there. I did have a positive experience thought when a girl assured me there was room for both of us at her table that she was already sitting at when she saw me walking around looking for a place to sit. —condemned2bfree
2008-12-22 12:05:26 I used to like this place. I‘ve gotten drinks there for years and overall it’s been a good place. I’ve seen both good and bad baristas. On Monday I saw another bad one. She, for whatever reason, stuck her finger in her nose when she was preparing my drink. I complained but my complaint was blown off. Disgusting. —Douglas
2009-01-22 16:20:35 I can understand why a cafe may want to create something like The Rule (although I don't necessarily agree with it, nor do I believe it ultimately improves business), but I don't know why something meant to preserve the "traditional" behavior at a cafe only includes newspapers as the only valid reading material. Why not all periodicals, like magazines or digests? —KellyM
I've often wondered this myself—wouldn't reading a book be 'traditional' (in a certain sense—perhaps hearkening back to the French intellectual café scene)? I'd be curious to know how to define traditional by recent history's standards. —ZN
I completely agree. As much as I like the idea of The Rule to keep room for non-studying peoples, I am not the kind to read the newspaper for recreation. I like getting a black coffee and being able to read some fiction or non-fiction literature. It is a bit bothersome that I have to do it around the people studying or be outside. Maybe I'll talk to them next time I go by... —SunjeetBaadkar
2009-02-08 20:01:25 I just bought a pound of Mishka's beans, just out of curiosity. I got the medium roast, but they were so unevenly roasted it might as well have been light + medium roast. "Wow, only 11 dollars a pound? That's about 40% less than the good stuff! Sweet, I'll try it."
I make a press of them and I find absolutely no good qualities in the taste. Carbon, a lot of bitterness from caffeine, generic. The high bitterness is an indication of more caffeine than usual, the beans are also a bit smaller than the usual arabica bean, which leads me to believe these are robusta. If that's not true, then they are just low quality arabica from some undisclosed location.
On the cappuccino side, they have fancied it up a little since I last tried it. Milk was a thin and a little burnt, foam was still spooned in and actually stirred/whipped (???) with a spoon, espresso came through ok, a little sour and thin. Overall though, I was impressed, much better than last year and actually drinkable. Of course, this may have been a one-off. I'd give it a C. —CoffeeSnobDavis
2009-02-10 20:50:46 I'm suprised that the health dept. did not shut this place down for these conditions. —vlam
2009-02-16 22:03:22 Man, why does everyone gotta hate on the Mish?? Personally, I think its fab, you know? Sure its a little dingy, but I'd like to see any of YOU start a business with a building like that. And clearly there are enough people that like it that it stays afloat. I think the coffee is delish, and poo poo on you if you want to spend your days arguing the metaphysics of the cappuccino-ness of the cappuccino... I see those baristas sipping on that coffee allll day, no way they would drink it if it was gross.
And who doesn't love some hotties with their coffee?? I think it should be renamed "Hottie Coffee" if you ask me... shazam!
As a current Mishka's Barista, I appreciate you defending us "really..." as well as for the confidence booster...I'll be sure to pass the comment along to my co-workers. Also, Mishka's has the best coffee in town, hands down. —davisite22
Hey davisite22, can you clarify the Rule for me? I asked a question about it earlier, you can see it if you scroll up. "really..." edited the description saying that as long as you aren't using a laptop or "cramming for a midterm" (I don't know how you actually make sure that they are cramming for a midterm), you can sit at one of the Rule tables. Is that true? I can read a book or whatever I want, as long as I'm not using a computer or studying for something? Can I write in my notebook? Can I sketch stuff? I fear sitting at those tables, even though I do not study or do work, because an employee might come up to me and tell me to leave for accidentally breaking the Rule. It says "no reading (except newspapers)", does that mean absolutely no reading except newspapers? —KellyM
Kelly you are fine reading a book or writing in your journal...as long as it does not look like you are studying (ie. textbook) and you don't have a computer you are good to go! —davisite22
—-I'm fine with the rule, but the "no computer" part is a little outdated since many people use their computers for reading newspapers or non-study books. I have trouble with it because most of what I want to read is online. I usually just have to grab a newspaper until a "study" spot opens up where I can then open up my computer and get to what I really want to read. I love newspapers, but sometimes I love online articles more. —KernHaug
2009-04-27 15:40:07 It sucks when you can't get a seat. They should install a WEBCAM so I can know before I go there if there will be seats. —bukj303
2009-05-21 22:33:26 How about this rule, Mishka's? How about refraining from destruction of trees in your tracks, eh?
If you are to have a relationship with the community, that includes the trees, hu-man.
This is to document that there has been a clear public response against the actions of the Davis RDA to approve destruction of historic trees for a building.
We request that you join us in the circle of life and love to support rather than destroy the Davis forest. —RainbowVogt
The rest of us would appreciate if you could post the context of your comment, thanks! —condemned2bfree
The document states that the new proposed location for Mishka's "would demolish the existing tank house structure and residual orange grove at 604 Second Street to accommodate the construction of a new three-story, approximately 5,000 square foot (sf) commercial building between the Varsity Theatre and the Mansion." —ZN
Thanks for the summary! —condemned2bfree
2009-05-26 15:12:23 See! Money Grubbing Capitalist Pigs! —CarrieBishop
2009-05-26 18:58:57 Would the trees have to be destroyed? Couldn't they be moved? To, oh I don't know, say, the land where Target is planning on being built? —SunjeetBaadkar
2009-05-26 22:12:50 I agree that the orange trees should be saved. There are plenty of vacant storefronts in the downtown core and no need to destroy 10 of Davis' oldest trees, not to mention contributing elements to a National Historic Landmark. —em
2009-06-04 15:49:17 The best cafe' mocha I've had in a long time. —Trena
2009-06-12 14:21:47 Packed with eye candy — I mean, grad students. Employees were friendly and quick. Not so crazy about the drinks here, as I was served a watered down chai that wasn't so... great. Good luck at finding a seat. —strawberry
2009-07-12 15:05:04 Ok, I like a good cup of coffee, which is available at a handful of cafes in Davis, but Mishkas has the BEST CINNAMON ROLLS. The cinnamon rolls are a perfect balance of moisture and sweetness. Not overly gooey or dry like cardboard, not like eating pure sugar. —HansHoglund
2009-08-06 14:54:07 I see all of these reviews and think to myself "Davis is a college town?" How is this so? With so many complainers and people not understanding how a business works. I thought college towns were educated...
Numerous posts have eluded to how rude the employee's are, and their thoughts about "the Rule". Have any of you actually talked to the owner about your expierences/thoughts? Or just complained, like the rest of america. I'm sure had you done this you would think differently; after speaking with the owner and finding out what a down to earth person he is.
I am working on the new cafe that will be put in next to the Varsity Theatre. The orange trees will be gone, but you can replant them if you want to pay the $17,000 a tree it costs! Sure go ahead, Blame the owner for not paying the $170,000 to move orange trees!
Do some research and know what you're talking about before you complain or make outrageous comments. —TheRightThinker
(In response to TheRightThinker’s post) I have spoken to the owner. I have serious doubts about the truthfulness of what he says. —former customer
Comparing the value of trees and historical landmarks to cafés doesn’t require a formal education, nor is education prerequisite to noticing discrepancies between a planned proposal that suggests one way of treating trees and historical landmarks, and then an approved proposal that makes convenient, self-serving changes, changes that seem more monetary than value minded (in a broad sense of the word value). Having a broad sense of anything these days, however, seems increasingly reliant on some type of liberal education, whether it comes from varied life experience and a natural perspicacity, sage parents or sage books, so it makes perfect sense that in a university town students should bring a formally cultivated sense of value to bear on the issue, a sense of value that at least attempts to transcend matters of commercial development and leisurely convenience, certain lifestyle appurtenances the educated class, ironically, often take for granted, like sitting in a café with a laptop and cappuccino to study. I’m surprised there aren't more complaints. But maybe it’s because those who are capable of comparing the finer points of value would rather sidestep the issue so they can continue enjoying their cappuccinos with a clean conscience. I know I’ve been tempted. —ZN
What have the orange trees ever done for you? How have they improved your life in any way? How have they contributed to the city's property and sales tax coffers, which have a direct impact on the quality of life for the citizens of Davis? Maybe the rest of us actually think there's more "VALUE" in having new commercial space downtown with a new Mishka's rather than having some old useless orange trees. —pw
I actually empathize with your assessment, on some levels, because I went through a similar deliberative process myself, asking those very comparative questions—though for me I also asked whether I could say my own appreciation of the Mishka's experience could be held up and compared to trees and an historic location, and whether I could generalize from my experience of Mishka's to others' experiences, then make inferences from this to the net-appreciation of Mishka's. I could hold more comparative value, for example, in playing a game of chess and reading a book at Mishka's than another, who may only use Mishka's for an Internet connection. The more I considered such things, the more difficult it became to conclude one way or another, categorically, so I settled into a skeptical stance. That said, I've been a regular patron of Mishka's since 2005, yet I've had comparatively little experience with the orange trees and the surrounding courtyard. So my initial intuition, given this comparative difference in experience, naturally led me to favor Mishka's over the trees and their surrounding location, as it presently exists. Though since then I have taken a few opportunities to spend some time in the location, to look at the trees and appreciate the shaded, bricked courtyard, and to wonder how others feel about the courtyard, and how the trees do not just have value in themselves, but also symbolic value, value related to certain ways of living and certain types of experiences, value related to preserving the environment against the encroachment of development, for example; and this made me question my original intuition. After thinking on this matter for awhile, and imagining how the space could be more often appreciated, such as by having local groups meet there on occasion, for philosophic discussion or meditation, or perhaps as a space for small, public musical performances, or whatever, I realized that what we do with a space often depends on our presuppositions about what can be done with it in the first place. So I could not suppose that simply because I do not use the space, that others would do the same. For me, though, it was the idea of symbolic value that became more problematic for deciding one way or another. We cannot underestimate the power of symbolic value for a space, for it can come to represent a mode of being, a way of life that presupposes its own cultivated values, and we cannot underestimate what it means to belittle that symbolic value, for the belittlement may represent a larger, contrary set of values that have forces beyond the contested space. So there are problems with appealing to what could be called 'the tyranny of the majority' (qua Mill) on such matters—the hubris behind the multitude opinion that says what is most valuable is what the majority says is most valuable—but there is also on the other side a problem with appealing to an elect minority opinion, especially when held by someone outside the communal context. Perhaps there is more potential concrete consequence for quality-of-life linked to symbolic value than we might think. Behind a small, seemingly meaningless act can be a mass movement. As for myself, I haven't drawn any categorical conclusions, because I don’t think I can. On the one hand I don’t think we can say the orange trees are useless, either intrinsically or symbolically, but on the other I can’t say the experiences had in Mishka's are without intrinsic and symbolic value of their own, but that value is certainly not uniform. And who knows, maybe the new Mishka's won't have the same appeal as the old; maybe it'll lose its charm. The least we can say is that it’s not a straightforward matter. —ZN
(In response to PW's post) And let's get rid of all that useless art, too! Hmm, the trees around town don't exactly do that much, let's put in nice, utilitarian parking lots so people don't have to walk more than fifteen feet in any given day. Oh, it'll be good to have some new space downtown, so that we can finally have some empty space for new businesses to move in. —JoePomidor
Fully improve the "Wow" Green Factor of the proposed addition to the already excellent and "easy-on-the-eyes" Varsity Theatre to "100% Green" (simply don't build it) — Help the developers in their quest for Green — sign the SOHOT (Save Our Historic Orange Trees) petition here http://www.petitiononline.com/SOHOT/ —BrianJKenyon
Random question: Do the orange trees provide fruit that the public can consume? Cause having something like this take up space when no one can access it is more like a museum display to me. Doesn't seem very "green" to me in comparison to places like the Tolkien Village. But I speak out of ignorance since I know nothing of the historic value of the trees since I've only lived here for ten years. Also, I have been working across the street from them for over two and I don't seem to ever see anyone outside them trying to get a petition signed or anything like that. Maybe they are here the few hours I don't work. —SunjeetBaadkar
Not that you haven't any point, but it should be noted that just because there isn't a swarm of people around the trees worshiping their everlasting comparative significance doesn't make them worthless. You work at a bookstore so perhaps, if you have some inkling of hierarchical literary value, you've observed how the best, timeless literature is generally overlooked for time-bound trash? Avid Reader's philosophy section, for example, is pitifully understocked and lacks most major works of significance, ancient and modern, and its classics section is even worse. Can we say such books are any less significant, intrinsically, because no one buys them? Should we not stock them because they'd just collect dust? Maybe this says something about our society's fitness to judge, our local community's as well. I'm not sure myself. Maybe Ortega was much more right about the revolt of the masses than he ever thought possible; maybe we live in a time when even booksellers care little about books and much more about taking breaks sipping badly made lattes. Again, I can't say. -Z
"Time-bound trash" is a new one. -ES
I apologize if I offended you with my question, I truly was speaking out of naivety of their emotional significance to you and everyone else. I only asked because of a conversation I had with a customer in my store about how she used to have dinner with her husband under the trees long ago. It made me wonder why this sort of thing still doesn't occur. Why cage it off like a zoo creature or museum piece? I think people today do not appreciate it because of how it is treated currently instead of knowing how it was treated in the past to ignite the passion that you seem to show. People would most likely care if it was incorporated into something that people actually are a part of. Can you imagine if they caged off parts of Central Park that people used to appreciate because they have some emotional connection to it? Also, I didn't mean to incite any sort of hostility towards booksellers. I do take a slight offense to your comment even though I know you phrased so you would not be accountable for its meaning. And no, I don't drink lattes, nor coffee for that matter (though when I do, it is always black, 1 sugar, no cream). I'm a water drinker, a gallon a day. And maybe some home brewed tea, on occasion. And to answer your first question: I've noticed people tend to avoid classic works of literature because when they mention what they've read to others, they tend to feel pretentious about having read Aristotle or Nietzsche instead of whatever Oprah seems to have gleaned for an hour. Supposedly, that is a bad thing. —SunjeetBaadkar
Tone is a hard thing to gauge online. You assume too much if you think I'm passionate or easily offended—on this issue I've been consistently evenhanded, with the exception of a tinge of sarcasm in response to your post, but that was only in reaction to what seemed to me a rather shallow, uncritical perspective on your part; even so, I wrote in a general, indirect manner to avoid any sense of personal slight, which would be pointless, really. Re-read my response and note its generality and lack of personal directedness. Maybe I misread you, but I certainty never felt offended, and I found your response puzzling, especially the presumed personal elements which were not there in the original. As for being pretentious about reading F. N. or Aristotle, perhaps you're confusing sound comparative judgment and criticism with arrogance? It's an easy thing to do. Although I have met my fair share of naive Nietzsche enthusiasts who, after reading TSZ, think themselves set apart from the herd without even knowing what that means. At any rate, my comments weren't directed at you, personally. I was extrapolating from an imagined, generic bookseller across from the new Mishka's, partially drawing on my own past experience as a bookseller when I was an undergraduate :) -Z
*Sunjeet, to answer your original question, I think it's fine for the public to pick the oranges. I've done it multiple times and have never had a problem. The fence is a remnant from when there was a cafe run out of the tankhouse that served alcohol. It is a pity that it's still up, or at least that the gates are closed, as the orange grove could serve as a much needed, shady open space in the downtown area. Your analogy to Central Park is actually quite fitting; back in the 80s, the council approved a development project on what is now the south end of the park (where the farmer's market, fountain, gardens and teen center are). Luckily, it was overturned by a city vote and we now have a larger Central Park instead of a shopping center. Let's hope today's generation can be SO HOT and save our historic orange trees.
In response to the numerous comments about the value of the trees versus that of a cafe, I believe we are missing the point. Yes, both are valuable in their own ways and which has more value will vary from person to person. But, this does not have to be an either/or choice. We do not have to choose the orange trees over the cafe or the cafe over the orange trees. We can have both. I am in no way against Mishka's Cafe but I am against destroying the last remnants of the original gardens and orchards that surrounded the Hunt Boyer mansion. These 10 orange trees were spared when the rest of Mansion Square was built and there is no reason they should not be spared today. I would love to see the cafe get built, just not at the expense of these defenseless trees, not to mention public open space. As Joe pointed out, there are numerous vacancies in the downtown core, including the former Indyna Bistro directly behind the trees and Bogey's books a mere half a block down E. The cafe does not have to be built on a National Register property. It does not have to remove 10 of our city's oldest trees. It does not have to destroy Davis' agricultural roots. —em
Em, excellent reponse without resorting to condescendance. I'm glad to be more informed now because of you. Also, I've been telling others about this new history that I have learned. I, too, hope that both the new Mishka's and the orange trees can co-exist in some manor. I actually would find it pleasant to be drinking a spot of tea with a book under the orange trees. Hopefully, someday. —SunjeetBaadkar
Adopting a critical response doesn't entail condescension. As Jean-Luc Picard once said, "Don't confuse style with intent." :) But yeah, good response, Em. I tried to avoid either/or type analysis myself, but that seems not to have registered. -Z
2009-08-16 00:12:40 Definitely not a favorite of mine. The atmosphere is unwelcoming in my opinion, and the last time I went there, I was served promptly in a manner that seemed like they just wanted me away. Very representative of Davis coming from a former Davis resident of nearly 30 years. —Darren22
2009-08-16 00:42:44 Definitely not my favorite coffee place in town. I ordered a latte and it tasted like crap. There was no coffee flavor to it. Either a lack of the correct number of espresso shots to milk or just weak coffee, who knows. And the place was loud with most of the chatter coming from employees behind the counter. —BrandonBarrette
2009-09-22 12:05:33 Best Coffee In Town! I'm a coffee addict who has floated around to many different coffee shops over the years, when I came to Davis a few yrs ago, I was scared of Mishka's because of the hippies, but lo and behold it turned out to be the best in town! And catching them on a morning when they are roasting beans...mmm mmm delicious...
I'm not a big fan of moving that little antique building next to the Varsity for a new building, and I like that little old brick patio with the trees (which would be GREAT for an outside coffee patio), but on the other hand it's never been put to good use in the past, so if they must, that's ok with me.
I don't know why so many people think they are rude, I have been going here almost every weekday for two years (and I'm not stuck-up or a yuppie!) - i have probably had 1-2 bad experiences only on weekends, which is my own fault for going there on weekends when the regulars aren't working. The staff knows me by name, and just about everyone who works there is awesome (some night/weekend staff excluded). To all the people who think they are rude, you must have either been rude to them, or just be retarded or deaf if you didn't hear them call your coffee.
If you are pissed at "The Rule", then trying opening a coffee shop and letting people fill the place up while drinking free water for hours on end - it's a coffee shop and a business - not a library - it's simple math, nothing to do with opinions. Yes, many of the customers are weirdos, but that's not Mishka's fault, that all of humanity's fault. You can't walk 1/2 a block in Downtown Davis without 5 douchebags getting in your way. If you really think the crowd at Peets or Starbucks [stuck up yuppies with negative attitudes] is just sooooo awesome, then by all means go there. If you think the music sucks, go to Peets and listen to some classical crap with the yuppies from Wildhorse.
If you want good coffee, and good people watching from the weirdos that hang out there, then shut up and go to Mishka's. This place rocks. —GarrettGallegos
2009-10-08 21:42:01 I think The Rule is absolutely the best thing a coffee shop could do in this day. Be thankful, coffee shops in other parts of the country are starting to simply take away the outlets. I see a lot of comments about how rude, cold, pretentious, etc. the clientele and/or staff are. I really don't get that. My experience has been positive. People in the shop have been nice to me if I had to interact and the people behind the counter were courteous and got me my coffee. Nice atmosphere overall but can't say I love the music. Will go back repeatedly. —Patrick.M
2009-11-24 20:27:52 Rude staff, terrible coffee and other drinks, nuff said! I studied here when I didn't know about the 24 Hours study room and have been here over 20 times, so I know the atmosphere, the people, the scene. People only come here because of the individual spots for studying. When I come here, all I see is people who look like they're on crack and staff who need to get fired! —JSlice
Are you sure they are not just "on caffeine" instead of crack? Some people seem to act the similarly for both. Especially those who find themselves living in coffee shops. —SunjeetBaadkar
2009-11-30 20:33:48 Today was my first time going to Miskas. I have a lot of studying to do as finals are coming up and heard that mishka's was open until 11. When I got there (at 830pm), the back "studying" room was completely full, but the front "open room" was completely empty. I was unable to find a table and was forced to ask for my coffee in a "to go" cup. I understand their reasoning for doing this during the day, but at night, when it is completely empty, this is ridiculous. I am never coming here again, I will find another coffee shop that actually serves decent tasting coffee and allows me to sit without ridiculously conceived rules. —dmarshj
2010-01-24 15:17:58 Good coffee, came in to study found a one-person table and have been sitting here for a few hours now. Lots of people, but studiers are coming and going so its only a matter of a few minutes to find a seat in the back, or as I saw today twice, a person moved to a one-seater to allow groups of people to find a seat. Nice vibe, a little noisy due to the constant clientele, the studiers and just the front people having a nice chat over a cup of coffee. The employees are indeed busy but help you courteously. Recommendable place.
Its true, there isn't much place infront for those on the lookout for a cup of coffee and a newspaper, but there is seating outside as well. —elliotgoethe
2010-02-03 18:39:07 I have a cyclical relationship with Mishka's. When I get tired of my office or working from home, I often set up shop at Mishka's because they are locally owned, have great coffee, often play good music, and have a great WiFi connection. When I'm feeling guilty about spending too much money on my triple-shot mochas (without a doubt, the best and most consistent mocha in town), I give up my seat amongst the other mac-using cool kids and head back to the office for a couple of weeks. For those of you who complain about the service, the patrons or The Rule, I have a few words for you.
Service: if you're polite to the staff, they'll be polite to you... but seriously, don't expect Starbucks-style fake smiles and carefully scripted greetings. You shouldn't want that, and nobody should be forced to behave that way... it's unnatural behavior in a coffee shop. I think the staff is, generally speaking, fantastic.
Other patrons: Don't be afraid of the mac-using cool kids. If you think that more room could be made for another chair, OR you'd like to share a table, OR you'd like to wrap your charger cord under another table, around someone's leg and over another person's shoulder, WELL, in my experience if you just ask a direct question with a "please" and a polite smile, you'll probably get what you want. Often, just an "excuse me", proper hand gesture and a smile will work as well. People want to spread out, but they will share if you ask. On the other hand, if an obnoxious smelly person likes to talk loudly on the phone in the midst of a bunch of quiet productive people, I'll support you if you ask them to please take it outside.
The Rule: is perfect.
Go to Mishka's and support one of the places that makes The People's Republic of Davis. —KemblePope
2010-02-03 18:54:19 The last time I was here and used the wireless internet, someone with Windows seemed to have Internet Connection Sharing turned on and was advertising itself as an IPv6 router without any global prefix, so it was very useless. There seemed to be 12 other computers, mostly Apple, also (not) using IPv6. Its not Mishka's fault because they don't control customers broken computers, but it was kind of annoying and also interesting to see how IPv6 is starting to appear but not work all the time. Hopefully Mishka's will get proper IPv6 soon and the user with Windows will manage to turn off ICS. —NickSchmalenberger