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
    • She may be referring to construction for Mishka's new location: ''Mishka's Cafe/Tankhouse Project'' documents. —DukeMcAdow
    • 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

2009-05-26 14:05:14   Sign a petition to save the orange trees from the Mishka's development: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/SOHOT/RainbowVogt

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
  • Jslice, are you saying I look like I'm on crack? —KernHaug

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