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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bistro 33 closed, ending Davis “Mojito Night” tradition

COVID-19 leaves negative impact on another Downtown Davis business

Bistro 33’s “Mojito Night” has long been a staple of the Davis community and of the UC Davis student experience. Each Thursday night, dozens, if not hundreds, of students and community members gathered at Bistro 33 from 6 p.m. to midnight to buy mojito cocktails at $12 per pitcher, dance to live music from DJ Smilez on the second and fourth Thursday of the month and hang out with friends. This tradition, however, has been discontinued, as Bistro 33 recently announced it would be closing.

Both Bistro 33 and the adjacent establishment, City Hall Tavern, initially closed temporarily due to social distancing protocol. Both restaurants have now closed permanently. 

The official website, however, released an updated statement on June 19.

“Due to the COVID-19 and not being able to come to lease terms with the new property owner we are sad to announce the Bistro 33 Davis will not reopen” the website reads. “Thank you to all the incredible employees that made this a special place! Also thank you to all of our loyal customers, we appreciate your business!”

Mark Engstrom, the president of Engstrom Properties, released a recent statement regarding the lease expiration of Bistro 33. 

“Bistro 33’s lease is set to expire in August,” Engstrom said to The Davis Enterprise. “We would like to thank Bistro 33 for their service to the community for the last 15 years.”

Rafa Razo, a UC Davis alumnus from the class of 2019, described a typical Mojito Night.

“Mojito Night was always full of fun and good times with friends,” Razo said via email. “It was a good stress reliever to forget about schoolwork and just get the weekend started.”

Razo said Bistro 33 was “more than just a bar for Davis students and the community,” saying the event was a motivating factor that helped him get through the week.

“Mojito Night was always full of good memories, many laughs and fun times with friends,” Razo said via email. “Mojito Night was truly part of the whole ‘Davis Experience.’” 

Engstrom echoed this sentiment, writing in his statement that Bistro 33 became “a local gem.”

“When it’s safe to do so, we will be working with their leasing agents to market the property and find an operator who can retain the charm and sense of community that Bistro 33 brought to the Davis Downtown,” Engstrom said to The Davis Enterprise.

Written by: Jelena Lapuz — city@theaggie.org


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