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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Best Of Davis

Best Bank

1. Wells Fargo

340 F St.

2. Bank of America

325 E St. and 1900 Anderson Rd.

3. Chase

330 E St.

Davis residents can bank on Wells Fargo for having great customer service and specialized plans for college students.

The San Francisco-based chain has three locations in Davis (one in each Safeway) and several ATMs scattered throughout the city. There are two Wells Fargo ATMs on the UC Davis campus alone.

Wells Fargo is attentive to the needs of students, and has an online program called Hands-on Banking, which teaches students how to manage a checking account and maintain credit. They also offer student loans.

One way in which Wells Fargo has a head start over other banks is its easy and up-to-date account management. Customers can get balance alerts sent directly to their mobile phone, and depositing checks doesn’t require an envelope. There are also many services offered online, such as bill paying and financial planning programs.

“I’ve been with Wells Fargo for 30 years,” said Tory Trisch, a Davis resident and Wells Fargo customer. “They’ve always met my needs. They’re very friendly and helpful.”

Coming in second place is Bank of America, which has two Davis locations, and in third is Chase, which has one Davis location.

Sarah Hansel

Best bike store

1. ASUCD Bike Barn

2. B&L Bike Shop

610 3rd St.

3. Ken’s Bike & Ski

650 G St.

The ASUCD Bike Barn opened in 1971 ready to serve, repair and be the best.

Mission accomplished.

As bikes move all about the UC Davis campus, the Bike Barn is a highly valuable place for students or faculty in need of simple repairs or new accessories. The Bike Barn has expanded over the past couple decades to now offer more than 250 rental bikes for tandem recreational use.

The Bike Barn sells and rents cycling equipment, even allowing customers to borrow tools for free with a valid form of identification. It also provides three air pumps both outside and inside the shop for bikers doomed with a flat tire.

Robert St. Cyr, general manager of the Bike Barn, has a knowledgeable and hardworking crew of only UC Davis students.

“I think the Bike Barn has a reputation of being convenient for students,” said Scott Wardell, one of the managers and a senior English and religious studies major. “The location is a big selling point. … We always have business and we always have bikes. If your bike is busted, you can just bring it here. We can do pretty much anything someone throws at us.”

Busy year-round with constant requests, the Bike Barn completes over 10,000 repairs per year. The shop is located between the Silo and Chemistry 194 building. It operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Pricing information can be found on the Bike Barn’s website, bikebarn.ucdavis.edu.

“The people who work at the Bike Barn are helpful and understand the problems students have, whereas shops in town may not be catered toward the recreational biker residents of the city,” said Hermes Huang, a sophomore neurology, physiology and behavior major. “The fact that they’re on campus offsets the pricing difference in a lot of cases, too.”

The B&L Bike Shop on 610 3rd St. followed close behind in the results, riding into second place. Coming in third was Ken’s Bike & Ski on 650 G St.

– Samantha Bosio

Best bookstore

1. Borders Books and Music

500 First St., in the Davis Commons

2. The UCD Bookstore

Memorial Union

3. The Avid Reader

617 Second St.

The best bookstore is Borders Books and Music, an awesome alliteration that book and newspaper lovers alike can rejoice in.

But beyond the fancy word play, this corporate mega-store has everything a college student could want: coffee, study space and lots and lots of books.

“I think the environment is what students enjoy,” said Laura Kisko, a sales manager at Borders. “People enjoy coming in here.”

To the left of the entrance sits a full service café. Caffeine can be found in many different forms, as well as pastries and candy, to ensure full alertness through any studying or book browsing that may be done while visiting.

Chairs and couches are provided, though often occupied, especially on Saturdays and during midterms and finals. Patrons are mostly students, many taking advantage of the free wifi.

In addition to studying, Borders’ extensive collection of books provides free entertainment. Because they’re a national company, Borders is able to take greater risks with their stock selection and products are often discounted lower than other stores.

On the off chance that what you want is not in stock, the store will have it shipped to Davis, free of charge.

“[Shopping here, students] are getting full customer service,” Kisko said.

Magazines, DVDs and CDs are also sold, as well as many other crazy knickknacks. If you need a kaleidoscope, this is the place to go.

For those on campus who just can’t wait, try the UC Davis Bookstore. Voted second best in Davis, the campus store carries textbooks and popular novels, testing supplies and Aggie wear.

Students who prefer a smaller environment should head on over to the third place winner, The Avid Reader, which provides that independent bookstore feel and book selection.

– Becky Peterson

Best Clothing Store

1. Target

4601 Second St. at Mace Blvd.

2. Gap

500 First St.

3. SPCA Thrift Store

920 Third St., Suite F

Although Target recently opened in October 2009, it has already won the hearts of Davis shoppers.

Target boasts a wide selection of brands and clothing styles, including everything from exercise attire to dorm-friendly pajamas.

Target brands follow the trends that are circulating through the entire fashion market, said Rochelle Onizuka, Target store team leader. Leggings, jeans and hoodies are three current favorites.

Three Target brands, Mossimo, Converse and Xhilaration, cater to college students.

Since Xhilaration and Mossimo are Target’s own brands, prices on items from these lines remain competitive, Onizuka said.

Onizuka has noticed Target’s popularity among college students.

“Guys buy flannel pajama bottoms,” Onizuka said.

Shoes, specifically slippers, are a favorite among women.

Three to four times per year, Target collaborates with high-end fashion designers and caters the clothes to Target customers. Target is currently featuring a line from Rodarte. Previous Target designer lines include: Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen and Isaac Mizrahi.

“I like shopping at Target because the prices are reasonable and the selection is good,” said Angela Yang, senior animal science major.

Target’s bright, clean and streamlined interior design provides a comfortable shopping environment, Yang said.

Yang likes Target’s bathing suits, specifically their various designs, colors and patterns.

“I notice the diversity of brands, including designer,” Yang said.

Target is located 4601 Second St. and is open Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Gap, located at 500 First St., took second-place honors, while the SPCA Thrift Store, located at 920 Third St., Suite F, took third.

– Theresa Mongelluzzo

Best Grocery Store

1. Safeway

2121 Cowell Blvd. and 1431 West Covell Blvd.

2. Nugget market

1414 East Covell Blvd. and 409 Mace Blvd.

3. Davis Food Co-op

620 G St.

With “ingredients for life,” Davisites have named Safeway the best place to buy groceries in town.

Safeway has two Davis locations: in the Marketplace in North Davis and in South Davis, between Cowell Blvd and Pole Line. Second and third place grocery stores were Nugget Market, with two locations on Mace Blvd. and Covell Blvd., and The Davis Food Co-op on G Street.

Cathy Uhlik, the North Davis Safeway store manager, thinks Safeway has it all – at least department-wise. Both locations have produce, a deli, meat and many other departments. Because of their college-town location, especially the North Davis location, the local Davis Safeways try to cater to the college crowd.

“We try to merchandize items to where students can come here and buy just one piece of cake instead of a whole cake,” Uhlik said.

With a great Safeway team, Uhlik says there’s a good energy at the store, which makes it a fun and happy location. There is a mix of older Davis and the younger student population.

“They all just kind of mesh,” she said.

Although the South Davis store is larger than the Marketplace locale, its southern location beyond I-80 keeps it more family-oriented, though Davis students living on Cowell Boulevard and beyond utilize this nearby market.

– Sasha Lekach

Best place to get a haircut

1. Supercuts

1300 E. Covell Blvd.

2. The Style Lounge

803 Second St.; 407 G St.

3. Great Clips

2101 Cowell Blvd.

If you were prepping for a recent date, you probably bought a gift and made a reservation at a restaurant.

If you were smart you also went to get a haircut at Supercuts as it was voted the best place to get a haircut in Davis.

Whether it be for luscious locks or short buzzes, students flock to the East Covell Boulevard location.

Supercuts moved to its current residence at Oak Tree Plaza in March 2007 after a year on G Street in Downtown Davis. One of the main attractions this hair salon franchise provides students with are low prices: $15 for a haircut, $19 for a cut and wash.

“My haircut was really inexpensive, which is important for a college student,” said sophomore international relations major Stephanie Tan. “I need to be picky with what I spend my money on.”

Luckily, cutting costs didn’t equate to an inadequate haircut for Tan, who said she loved the bangs she left the salon with.

Apart from meeting a college students’ limited budget, Supercuts also keeps its doors open later on weeknights to accommodate crazy class schedules. Monday through Friday students can walk in without prior appointments from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Supercuts employee Angie Chapeton said she believes part of the reasons students make up a large portion of their clientele is due to the ambiance.

“The environment here is pretty cool,” Chapeton said. “Everyone just really seems to like it.”

Supercuts was voted first just ahead of The Style Lounge. The Style Lounge has two sites in Davis, both in Downtown. The original can be found on Second Street, while the second location is on G Street.

Great Clips made the final cut, placing third in the polls. This hair salon on Cowell Boulevard provides many of the same services and prices as first-place Supercuts does.

– Kelley Rees

Best Hotel

1. Aggie Inn

245 First St.

2. Hallmark Inn

110 F St & also on G and First St.

3. Best Western University Lodge

123 B St.

If you like having a complimentary continental breakfast, high-speed Internet, cable TV, a fitness room and other amenities, the Aggie Inn could be the place for you.

Its First Street location is conveniently located just off campus from the Graduate School of Management and Voorhies Hall. Voted number one best hotel in Davis for at least the past three years,

manager Maria Laura believes it is because of the hotel’s good relationship with UC Davis and 20-year establishment in the city.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our employees’ help,” Laura said. “I just want to thank everyone who has given us this award for the past years.”

The owners, Royal Guest Hotels, also run the Best Western Palm Court Hotel and the University Park Inn & Suites in Davis.

Second place best hotel went to the Hallmark Inn, which is a little further from campus. Located next to the Seasons restaurant and in close proximity to Amtrak, the hotel offers some discounts to friends and family of UCD students. Its address is 110 F St. & also on G and First Street.

In third place, the Best Western University Lodge offers a spa and business room, in addition to other amenities. AAA or AARP discounts will save you 10 percent here. Its 123 B St. location is across from Delta of Venus and down the street from the Bicycle Hall of Fame.

– Angela Swartz

Best Music store

1. Armadillo Music

205 F St.

2. Dimple Records

212 F St.

3. Watermelon Music

207 E St.

In the ongoing battle of F street record stores, the people of Davis have declared a winner.

Armadillo Music, Davis’s longest running record store, is the best in the city, a title its owners credit with customer service.

“We’re not as big as other stores out there,” said Jordan Smart, an employee of Armadillo Music. “We carry as much as we can and try to have a wide variety of things in stock. But I think when it comes down to it, people come back because they have a good experience here.”

The store is recognizable by its bright blue and white exterior, and the inside is just as bold. The perimeter of cases holds a large variety of format options, including a section of new and used vinyl, DVDs, and of course, CDs. But they hold no bars when it comes to genres.

“Our logo is Bach to Rock,” said Paul Wilbur, an employee at Armadillo Music. “So classical, all the way up to black metal, we’ve got it.”

For this reason, the store has a diverse range of customers.

“We don’t have an average customer,” Wilbur said. “We order classical CDs for 85 year-olds and we have kids that come in looking for the new Justin Beiber album.”

If you’re too afraid to admit you want a Lady Gaga album, Armadillo Music offers plenty of other reasons to visit the store. Armadillo buys used music and DVDs in addition to hosting live performances of local and touring acts.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try Davis’s second favorite music store, Dimple Records, or make your own music by visiting third place instrument store Watermelon Music.

– Becky Peterson

Best Video Store in Davis

1. 49’er Video

606 West Covell Blvd.

2. Blockbuster

303 F St.

3. Redbox

Davis students have reached a decision: if you would rather stay at home than spend $11 on a movie in the theaters, 49’er Video is the best place for the job.

Unlike the runners up to this superlative, 49’er Video is a privately-owned video rental store, with the only location in Davis. John Merchant, the owner, has been running it for 25 years, 15 from its current location, in the Anderson Plaza.

49’er Video possesses a number of qualities that make it the best video store for the third consecutive year.

“[We have] 35,000 titles in our store -4,000 of which are foreign [and] 1,000 BBC, in addition to 850 new release titles,” Merchant said.

Merchant believes his store ranked number one because of its service.

“Our service and selection have been recognized nationally as the best video store in the U.S., not just Davis, in a trade association poll,” he said.

49’er Video has won that national title once, and runner-up another year. They owe their success primarily to their customer service and pricing.

Another endearing quality they retain is their discounts and specials specifically for their largest demographic: the UC Davis students.

“We run a special for UCD students- all new releases are a dollar a day. Makes our prices the best in Davis,” Merchant said.

UCD students may be particularly appreciative to the video store due to their hiring reputation.

“We have always been primarily staffed by UCD students and are university friendly, which have made us successful at a time when stores are going out of business 500 at a time,” he said.

Coming in at second place, Blockbuster offers a wide range of movies as well, with new releases every week. The Redbox, with their $1 a day rentals, came in third.

With prices, service and jobs, it’s no wonder the population of Davis has cast their vote: 49’er Video wins again for best video store in Davis!

– Brittany Pearlman


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