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Davis, California

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Davis business update

In the past year, Davis has seen multiple businesses come and go.

Driving along Cowell Boulevard, you might see a green and furiously dancing gherkin — one Mr. Pickle — a new addition to the Davis restaurant scene. Mickey Mann, manager of Mr. Pickle’s, said that Mr. Pickle’s has been looking to Davis for the last three or four years, and the reception has been beyond their expectations.

“Davis was ready for a sandwich shop like this,” Mann said.

Mann cites the location as a particular help to Mr. Pickle’s current success.

“[Going] downtown is difficult for people over here. I think the location works,” he said. “Safeway makes sandwiches, but it’s just on a different plane.”

Preethi Indian Cuisine on E Street opened just last spring, right before Spring Quarter ended. Ramya Immareddy, daughter of the owners, said that they’re still trying to get students to come out.

“We have a 15 percent student and senior discount,” Immareddy said.

The new restaurant features South Indian food, unique from the other Indian restaurants in Davis that primarily serve Northern dishes.

Nearby, there are two more new restaurants — Zindagi, an Indian bistro, opened at the former Queen of Sheba location. Next door, International Cafe just opened this week. It boasts an eclectic menu with a heavy Indian and Nepalese influence. The space was formerly occupied by Luigi’s Pizza, which closed just five months after its opening.

Although several private restaurants opened with mixed results last spring, the bakery chain Panera Bread opened this summer and has since been doing well.

“I think we provide a unique service here,” said Jonathan Woodward, one of the managers of Davis’ Panera.

October will bring a few other stores such as the new Whole Foods Market, opening Oct. 24, while a new Ace Hardware opened in North Davis.

El Toro Bravo is set to replace the Baja Fresh on Second Street. El Toro is owned by the same owners of Crepeville and Burgers & Brew.

Another new bar in Downtown Davis, Vini Wine Bar, opened recently. Unlike most bars, owner Jeff Day said he isn’t looking for the “college crowd” as much.

“I do get student-age [customers] and I love having them,” Day said. “I don’t do happy hours or specials.”

Day said that he is going to try to have a wine event each month. This month he is planning a Riesling night on Oct. 24.

Although many businesses are arriving in Davis, many have closed as well. Over the past year, children’s store Alphabet Moon closed and their inventory was taken up by Mother & Baby Source. Dimple Records also closed. McDonald’s in North Davis will be closing in the next few months. None of these businesses were available for comment.

However, the closure of some stores has allowed others to blossom.

The Avid Reader just expanded into a new store, previously held by Alphabet Moon. The owner of the store, Alzada Knickerbocker, said that the expansion only would have happened with the closure of Borders.

“With Borders out of business, my store just increased in activity tremendously,” Knickerbocker said. “We had scaled down when Borders went out of business. Now with Borders clos[ed], we [have] kind of unwound that. As a result, the original store was packed with books.”

The second Avid Reader store has been doing well, she said.

“It’s a combination of being very enthusiastic about what you’re doing and what the community is looking for, having what people want and then treating them well,” Knickerbocker said.

JULIE WEBB can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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