In a town known for shutting down early, restaurants that stay open past 10 p.m. are in high demand for college students.
The popular nightlife spot Soga’s recently went through a menu and facility remodeling transformation. The restaurant and bar recently reopened as 21 and Seven Bar and Grill by Chaat Café.
Based in the Bay Area, the Chaat Café chain features modern-style Indian food. Stuffed naan wraps, curries, salads and tandoori pizza are few of the offerings.
Owner Jay Mundy said Soga’s was formerly a “fine-dining, four-star, white tablecloth-type of place,” and the decision to reopen was geared towards college students in terms of the menu prices and atmosphere. He plans to keep the nightlife going while providing an environment where people can dance, eat and talk.
“We wanted to have a place that blended the best of both worlds, where college students could sit down and eat in good environment with a good price point, have a good time and hang out later in the night,” Mundy said.
Mundy said that all of other places were selling the same type of food so he wanted to go in an ethnic direction with dishes that are fresh and healthy. Other restaurants offering Indian food, like Indyna Bistro, have closed in the past year.
“It’s a really good environment overall – a real nice vibe going on,” he said. “It’s warm, people can hang out, eat and access the bar. I think its something nice that this town needs because a lot of places that are open late are a lot of burger and pizza places.“
21 and Seven is one of a handful of restaurants that have opened recently in Downtown Davis that offer late night dining and entertainment.
Uncle Vito’s Slice of N.Y., which opened last month on Second Street, has established itself as a loud and bustling pizza joint in the normally sleepy Downtown Davis.
Dana Scarpulla, Operations Manager at Uncle Vito’s Slice of N.Y., said that the restaurant offers an alternative menu and atmosphere to what’s open now.
“We are able to serve a need that few others are filling, which is late night dining,” she said.
Uncle Vito’s is closed to people under 21 at 10 p.m. and serves a full menu until closing every night (midnight on weeknights, 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday). There is also a pickup window located on E Street for those who are not of age.
Burgers and Brew, which is open until 3 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday and midnight from Sunday through Wednesday, is a convenient eatery for the late crowd as well, although the after-bar hours have a downside. Staffing is difficult because employees may not want to work late and customers sometimes visit the restaurant after a drunken romp down G Street.
“People show up a little woozy so their sense of logic is not there,“ said owner Derar Zawaydeh. “It’s a little harder to deal with someone who has been drinking a little. We try to control it at the door. It’s a liability if someone comes in drunk and hurts themselves or someone else.“
Zawaydeh said that the late hours are one business factor, but the food, prices, value and quality are equally important. Since there are few residents in the surrounding area, the noise and people are not much of a nuance.
“Of course you have the fast food restaurants that are open late but the expectation is not there,” Zawaydeh said. “For a place that has good food to be open late it‘s definitely an asset. Good food is good food at any time.“
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at email@example.com.