This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town. All information here is for historical reference only.


The Graduate on a Thursday night, summer '05.

805 Russell Blvd , in University Mall
Mondays - 11am - 1am
Tuesday - 11am - 1am
Wednesday - 11am - Midnight
Thursday - 11am - 1am
Friday - 11am - 1:30am
Saturday - 10:30am - 1:30am 
Sunday - 10:30am - 10pm
Charlie Swanson

The Grad is a combination sports bar and restaurant by day, and dance club by night. Their large, dimly lit space has plenty of pool tables, and video games. Sort of like a tougher Woodstocks Pizza. During the day, they serve sandwiches, burgers, salads and Pizza. They make a tri tip on Thursdays as well as nachos. You can find their entire menu Local radio personality Jack Armstrong can be spotted eating lunch or dinner here (or presumably at the bar, as he often tells bar stories on-air) — he likes the burgers.

The Grad has a large dance floor, pro lighting, huge sound, two bars, drink specials, pool/games, full service restaurant, plenty of free parking and 55+ beers on tap (including Pliny The Elder, Dogfish Head, Deschutes, Stone). Cover varies from $5 and up (no cover 21 & over before 9pm & there is a discount for college students with ID) in the evenings. A couple of years ago, some people had problems with a bouncer at this place. To read (or comment on) the bouncer incident, click here. In addition to being a bar/club/restaurant, they've also got free WiFi.

The establishment has been in Davis for 40 years (opened in 1971). In the late 70s/early 80s, there was a narrow upper level with railing that went around the entire room. The upstairs area contained arcade games, like Ms. Pac-Man and Qbert. If you look up at the ceiling, you can still see the skeleton of that architecture today. The early huge wall plaster/logo that was prominently placed outside the entrance caused quite a stir in Davis at first. It consisted of a large round mound with a bright red ball in the center...

Charlie Swanson, owner of The Graduate, is husband of Davis City Council member Rochelle Swanson. Rochelle holds the title of "Community Outreach Person" and secretary of the board. 1

The Grad has over 60 beers on tap, which they claim is the most in Davis. The Grad has by far the best selection in town of IPAs on tap. Keep an eye out for tastings, usually on Fridays, which tend to feature great regional breweries, nearly all of which have a couple of IPAs or imperials. Typically, the first 72 people at the tastings get a pint glass from the brewery.

They periodically host community events with cover/ticket sales going to benefit local groups or causes. In May 2011, they hosted a fundraiser for Bogart, a 2 year old dog in need of a hip replacement surgery who was rescued by a vet student when he was about to be put down.

This place gives free soda for designated drivers when in bar mode.

The Grad is also known to show almost all sporting events Soccer, NFL, MLB, NHL & UFC.

In 2010, the Grad was chosen by Huffington Post readers as having the best reaction video to Landon Donovan's game-winning World Cup goal.

Other Graduates exist, including one in Chico and, for a while, near Sac State in the 1980s. They were once owned by the same partnership, but are now independently owned and operated.

If you want to avoid trouble while eating and/or drinking here (or at any bar), either go during the day, or check out the Bar Taboos page before visiting.


Half Off Happy Hour Beer-Wine-Cocktails-Shooters-Pitchers-Big Beers-Pints-Singles-Doubles Monday-Friday 3-6pm

Daily Lunch Specials (11:30am to 1:30pm) - Monday $5 Undergrad Tuesday $5 Regular Sandwich Wednesday $5 Mini Pizza Thursday $5.50 Tri-Tip Sandwich Friday $5.50 Tuna Melt

Nighttime Entertainment

Updated 2013-07

The Grad was chosen "Best Night Life" by The Davis Enterprise in their 2012 Readers' Choice Awards

Monday: Country Line Dancing for 18+ with DJ Mark (No Cover 21 & Over Before 9pm)

Tuesday: Salsa Dancing with free dance lessons @ 9:30pm with DJ MigZ. Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Kizomba, and more. Everyone 18+ pays $6 cover. (No Cover 21 & Over before 8:30pm)

Wednesday: Country Line Dancing for 18+ with DJ Dennis (No Cover 21 & Over Before 9pm) Karaoke with DJ Rance 9pm-Midnight

Thursday: Salsa Dancing with free rotating dance lessons (Lessons include but not limited to Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, and more!) @ 9:30pm with DJ MigZ. Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Kizomba, and more. Everyone 18+ pays $6 cover. (No Cover 21 & Over Before 8:30pm)

Friday: Country Line Dancing for 18+ with DJ Mark (No Cover 21 & Over Before 9pm)

Saturday: Country Line Dancing for 18+ with DJ Mark (No Cover 21 & Over Before 9pm)

Sundays: Live Music 8:30pm ALL AGES. NO COVER


rastamon reminisced in April 2009 about his experiences at the Grad in the mid 70s. "I lived in Davis in 1975-76 and also worked at the Graduate, I believe the owner was Jack Oldham...He also owned one in Chico. Just went there a few days ago in the afternoon and enjoyed a great tri-tip sandwich. The inside & out look much the same, though the decor in the men's room is jest not the same-lol. The inside of the bathroom was bordered in plaster boobs. I would love to have a picture of that, then. Anyway, I think the gradburger was @$2.50 and maybe 10beers on tap. I also worked a few doors downs at "The Game Room" which was run by the owner of the Back Home Deli, Ray Coleman - both in the Mall."

"At the west end of the Mall was a Safeway Store for those important beer runs. Did'nt have far to run either...i lived in the Wakeforest Apts."

"In the spring of 1976, the Fraternity's of Davis (or combo of many) put on a +50 Kegger in the Mall parking lot, and it went well(!) no major problems. Try that today...haha"

"The Grads prices are still very reasonable and WOW!- ALL those brews on tap! I enjoyed a yummy Fat Tire Ale after a 2mi nostalgia run. Don't know about any bouncer complaints, however if you give respect you generally get it. Peace on, rastamon (at the also)"

Sue from the class of 1972 recollects, "A group of us would gather at the Graduate for an evening of fun. If I remember, the booths were padded then. It was a good thing because we would spend the evening there. We would order beer by the pitcher. That was before the day of all these fancy beers. We always made fun of the first person who had to go to the bathroom. It was a good thing that we lived in Heritage House, because we could "walk" home after the evening activities."


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2008-02-07 15:16:07   i've heard about this place for years... never went until today :) I got one of those coupon for a free undergrad burger from the basketball games and decided to get my free burger. it seems larger from the inside than out. there's lots of TV and sports channels. i got my free burger and garlic fries. i highly advise to order these two together. they were good and the garlic fries tasted a lot authentic. the folks were really nice. So yes, during the day time, especially lunch hours... it is a nice place to eat burgers if you're in the need of it. haven't gone to any of the night time shows.. lol.. but may consider in the future. —ChiYang

2008-02-08 11:32:36   Had a really bad experience here freshman year....guy got overly agressive when dancing....took things way to far, didnt go back till this year (senior now), and only go with a group of guys so things like that wont happen again. Not the places fault, but still, not a good thing. Like country night and had a blast on halloween there! —tgdavis

2008-02-11 14:50:03   AVOID THIS PLACE on 18+ nights! It turns into a college bar experience from hell. Also, the two bar setup is TINY, and you'll have to fight through for drinks. Anyone know how many bartenders are on duty on Thurs, Fri, Saturday nights? Last time I went there was one solitary barkeep with a chip on his shoulder. —pizzapieGuy

2008-05-27 17:29:38   old guys checkin out young girls. sleezy as fuck. —film

2008-05-29 00:25:05   College Night at the Grad... now has go go girls! They're really hot, too. Not sure there is any other reason to go. —ThuHo

2008-06-23 11:51:12   well...I can't really comment on the Grad at night, not having been there past about 3 in the afternoon, but what have noticed is that during weekend afternoons, when it's not very croweded, but people eating lunch and watching sports the facility seems understaffed. The kitchen is likley ok, except that they don't seem to do any table busing instead leaving that to the one overworked bar person. The problem here being that rather than generating revenue by filling peoples drink requests, the bar person is bringing dishes from all over back to the kitchen area. Perhaps they need to review the whole staffing plan? —RocksandDirt

2008-07-01 11:32:50   Country night is great here... lots of girls to dance with, good dirnk specials, $5 domestic beers and long islands, somehow We always manage to have a blast. —JamesLDownie

2008-07-01 11:33:31   I forgot to add the bouncer from boston is hilarious. —JamesLDownie

2008-07-05 19:15:42   I walked in the door here and busted out laughing, I couldn't contain myself. This place is a joke. Food is mediocre and expensive. Too many locals. This place is like a bar, and a dance club, and it sucks at both. I noticed they have like 3 bouncers at the door, evidence of trouble in the past. What a hole. Shut this place down already. —JimBob

  • You walked in the door and immediately were able to tell that the food was mediocre? That seems unlikely. Also I'm pretty sure locals avoid the grad like the plague considering it's not close to downtown at all and is usually full of line-dancing college students . — JakeJames

2008-08-20 12:33:16   I love this place. The chicken club pizza is one of my favorites, also the burgers are great. The kitchen staff are the best always helpful and polite and the bartenders are by far the best around! I always have a good time when I go here. —AngelaGerould

2008-09-01 15:29:57   I have been to the Grad on many occasions and have always found the staff, from doormen, to kitchen staff to bartenders to be efficient and friendly. The food rocks, a great beer selection (Ithink like 48 on tap), with some of the best beers in the world here (ie. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Descheuts, Green Flash and many others). Great location for me, living in west Davis. This place is great for watching football on Sundays, UFC and is a huge favorite of my kids....both girls. Plenty for them to do with games, a good kids menu and a favorite for our team after softball games. Davis is lucky to have the Grad. Keep up the good work. My name is Lorne and I approved this message. —Lorne

2008-11-14 18:12:47   Why doesn't the Grad post their menu? Oh, and Jimbob should change his name to jimboob. What a dumb comment on the food. Like who would take that review seriously??? —LokiAbbi

2008-11-16 20:44:01   eating dinner there is almost as pathetic an idea as partying there —Chrissapher

2008-11-16 20:44:46   ALTHOUGH its a good place to watch a game and have a beer, like on an afternoon —Chrissapher

2009-01-06 16:44:37   i go to the grad all the time and always have fun, but for some reason the bartender decided to forget what a jager bomb was last night. the girls in front of me ordered two, and got jager+rock star in a glass. when they said "um..what is this?" the bartender was a jerk, and said he doesn't do the shot glass because then the pint glasses get chipped. apparently he's a manager, so complaining gets brushed aside...he's always been kind of a condescending jerk anyway. shouldn't someone get what they order? maybe don't advertise "jager bombs" as a $5 special if a) they're not actually $5 and b) they're not actually jager bombs. this goes for the long islands too, which i believe have no more than a drop or two of alcohol in them.

jerk bartenders who are full of themselves are irritating and make me not want to return. fortunately, there are enough things i like about the grad that make it so i'm able to ignore this guy and step out of line whenever he's behind the bar. —dontworryaboutit

2009-01-07 11:00:19   I love this place for watching games and the service is always really good. I have two suggestions/complaints, however. My first suggestion involved food options. I wish they had a bit more healthy food, other than salads. Perhaps something like a sandwich wrap and a better salad than the house salad they now offer. The other suggestion is beer specials. They almost never have them. I only drink at places when I can get beer specials and the Grad seems to not like them for some reason. I love everything else about this place, though. —condemned2bfree

2009-01-07 13:50:56   After reading through many comments, I'm realizing this may be a pretty horrible place. I've been here only a dozen times since coming to Davis (I prefer G Street and Little Prague) and almost always had a great time at the bar and after leaving. I've never been chased or intimidated or yelled at or tackled. Most of the time, I have met some really cool people and had a great time dancing with random strangers that eventually became acquaintances (it's crazy how people you meet end up being friends of your friends). But after hearing about these numerous incidents, I realized something. I feel sort of left out. I think I'll have to go here more. One day, I hope, too, to have my very own "bouncer incident." —SunjeetBaadkar

2009-02-25 12:43:17   Agree that the bar is a ripoff, even during happy hour. Long islands and tokyo teas are made from a premade mixer and the bartender adds a shot of rum from the tap. WEAK AS FUCK! I also notice that ordering a 'bombay' drink gets you gin from the tap!!! I'm considering writing a letter to the bombay company advising them that this bar is potentially committing fraud by passing off well gin as the real deal.

None of the drink specials is actually $5. —davisGeek

  • This review from a guy who has a petty personal vendetta against the grad. So take it with a grain of salt. —Arcturus

2009-03-03 15:27:14   They heavily advertise (or advertised, depending on when you read this) a special for a $5 gradburger mon-fri til 7pm. I figured this price included a side of fries since they automatically give a side of fries when you order a gradburger at any other time (for about $8.50) and thus thought it was a pretty good deal. Turns out, however, the 5 dollar price is just for your burger, so if you add fries like I did (another $2 plus) it comes to a little over 7 dollars, so this special is about $1.50 in savings. Better than nothing, but certainly nothing to write home about and even borderline deceiving.

All in all, I don't mind the Grad since they play sharks games with regularity ever since about 2 years ago. I wish they started their stupid dance shennigans a little later though so that you could watch the end of all the local games that start around 7:30 (Sharks, Warriors, Giants etc.) I've had them shut a game off on me at 9:30 on a few occasions, and the bouncers are real bastards about letting you back into the place if you leave and come back after 8:30 or so just to finish watching a game. If you are gonna have 40 TVs in your restaurant, you should focus on being a sports bar first and then dance club second.


2009-04-25 15:54:19   I lived in Davis in 1975-76 and also worked at the Graduate, I believe the owner was Jack Oldham...He also owned one in Chico. Just went there a few days ago in the afternoon and enjoyed a great tri-tip sandwich. The inside & out look much the same, though the decor in the men's room is jest not the same-lol. The inside of the bathroom was bordered in plaster boobs. I would love to have a picture of that, then. Anyway, I think the gradburger was @$2.50 and maybe 10beers on tap. I also worked a few doors downs at "The Game Room" which was run by the owner of the Back Home Deli, Ray Coleman - both in the Mall. At the west end of the Mall was a Safeway Store for those important beer runs. Did'nt have far to run either...i lived in the Wakeforest Apts. In the spring of 1976, the Fraternity's of Davis (or combo of many) put on a +50 Kegger in the Mall parking lot, and it went well(!) no major problems. Try that today...haha The Grads prices are still very reasonable and WOW!- ALL those brews on tap! I enjoyed a yummy Fat Tire Ale after a 2mi nostalgia run. Don't know about any bouncer complaints, however if you give respect you generally get it. Peace on, rastamon (at the also) —rastamon

2009-05-31 09:12:02   This is one of those places in Davis that a lot of Townies grew up on, and I'm no exception. I remember when the burgers were bigger than my head and while waiting for them, I'd beg for some quarters to kill on air hockey. Still my favorite burgers in Davis, especially because I can get them with some pink so I don't feel like I'm eating fast food cardboard burgers. The onion rings are fantastic, too. —KBathory

2009-07-10 00:24:06   afternoon happy hour is the best time to go get some pints with friends —ketan

2009-07-21 01:33:33   Went there for Salsa night. The lesson that night was a little too short and I was a complete beginner so I had some trouble, but what do you expect for free lessons? Still had lots of fun and the place seemed nice. Will return there again. —matty

2009-10-18 13:36:11   It's fairly obvious that this place is going under. It doesn't really matter what night of the week it is, no one is ever here. The owner would be wise to clean up his UFC fight night posters that now litter Russell Blvd. The bartenders are senior citizens and are slow at making drinks. I'll be taking my business to G-Street. —iamdink

2010-01-22 16:00:04   This place sucks. Always has, always will. If it weren't for the fact that some friends of mine work there, I would never go. I mean $4 for a pint of Pabst?! What are they, high?! Some of them yes. —BrandonKuhens

  • Depends on when you go. $3.25 pints during happy hour is pretty nice, and they always have at least a couple of IPAs on tap. AFAIK there's nowhere else in town with an IPA selection, much less for that price. The free nachos certainly don't hurt. And they have pretty good wings - I'd say second best in town, after Sudwerk (but better beer, so it's kind of a tossup for me). The Grad is definitely my pick for drinks before 6pm. — TomGarberson

2010-01-25 14:07:56   alright so ive been coming to the grad for a few months now. Sure they have a good variety of beer but the customer service there sucks.. ordering food is ridiculous considering the number of employees they have working back there.. really! their grad burger is a must if your in davis, and their wings arent too bad. B- in my record. The bar: i will have to agree with one of the quotes above.. on some nights senior citizens are working back there.. i mean come on if you want to have business change your employees around. I have ordered from five of their bartenders.. two made the rt drink and the other three tried. The female ones dnt pay much attention to attractive girls. Work on your esteem dears! for example clean up your attire.. and try to be a bit more polite.. the males are of course nice, seeing as they get a bigger tip from us woman when they try. One bar incident went to hell when the black haired female acted extremely rude when i tried explaining a drink to her.. she refused to fix it.. which was quickly fixed when a male co worker offered to do it himself. So there you have it.. i will return for more feed back.. —davisinformer

2010-02-24 15:58:32   what's up with it's website right now? When you try to go to it it has a warning saying that entering may harm your computer. —KernHaug

2010-04-02 13:16:23   Great bar tenders and generally great service —mwalters

2010-04-02 13:29:33   The Grad does a great job at hosting special events. Especially last night when they brought out Whiskey Dawn again. —KerryK

2010-04-02 13:32:02   Such a great place to watch a game with friends while our boys play games - a great place for every member of the family —TrishW

2010-04-02 18:42:35   The above three comments seem to have come from a similar IP and all are within minutes of each other. Possibly sockpuppetry? —SunjeetBaadkar

2010-05-11 08:37:51   Mr. Swanson. Way to stand up and pledge to change the Graduate's Picnic Day operations for 2011. It is exactly what we need... good community leaders to to guide Davis!! :D —Shinsa

2010-05-23 11:45:14   There are no country line dancing lessons anymore. Also, there are no free nachos with happy hour anymore. They should update their specials and special events. —striker

—Country line dance lessons are on most Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

2010-06-09 14:39:45   I used to like coming to the grad to watch sports, but every since yesterday I've had second thoughts about ever coming back. I went in to watch the NBA finals and right as the first quarter was about to start, I put in an order for some food and it never came. after the first quarter was over (some 30 minutes later, a conservative estimate) I went to check on my food and they told me that they hadn't even place the order! I asked for a refund (which they did give me), but they didn't even offer to make things right by giving me a discount or anything, so I left. If they would have offered me a 15 percent discount or made any effort to corrects things, things would have been okay. Mind you, while the situation was unfolding, 2 managers simply watched from a detached perspective and made absolutely no effort to step in. As a person who works at a restaurant and as a customer, I was deeply disappointed by their customer service. It's a shame too, because I used to come in at least 3 times a week and drop at least $25 bucks on a given night. —Tron

—Isn't giving you a refund at least trying to make amends? Sure, free drink or food or a discount may have been nice but..? —redbike

2010-06-11 19:38:01   I went to The Grad before work this morning to watch the first match of the World Cup and was disappointed to see they had a guy outside saying it's a $5 cover or you can buy $5 worth of food/drink. Now I can understand that if you are going into a business to use their facility, it's common courtesy to buy something. But to have someone outside collecting money or saying to have to spend at least "blank" amount is a bit of a stretch for me, especially when you are a sports bar and charging to show a regular televised game. You're going to draw in a crowd and make money, there is no need to have someone outside forcing customers to pay before stepping foot inside. I had intended to watch most of the World Cup games at The Grad and spend my money there on food and drinks. But after this morning, the staff and business style pissed me off and I don't really have much of a desire to support them anymore. There are plenty of other places around here I can go to enjoy a game without being forced to pay before I even walk in the door. —P-M

— Agreed. There are other World Cup viewing options in Davis. — JoRo

— 100% agree with this poster. Heck I'll even reitterate the disrespectful nature of the bouncer. After going there to specifically spend money on their food, the bouncer treated me like crap and basically threw me out before I had a chance to enter. I just asked what the covercharge was for. I'll never again go there when they have a bouncer outside. It's shady business the way they are handeling it. —Curtthemartian

2010-06-23 15:27:39   You can't really rely on their listed times for replaying matches. On Wednesday, June 23, for example, they said they were going to replay the US-Algeria game (which was live at 7am) at 11:30 and 5. Despite a couple of requests, though, they wouldn't show it at 11:30 on even one screen. My wife and I had family come from out of town to meet us there for lunch specifically because they were supposedly showing the match, and I was pretty miffed when they refused to didn't show the game as advertised (edit: no one refused anything, they just weren't able to show it; see reply from dstaf below -tg). One of the employees even checked their flyer and acknowledged that it was supposed to be on. He said they were rescheduling it to 3pm, which wasn't any good for us. —TomGarberson

— Sincere apologies for not showing the USA replay and the England replay at 11:30am. It was not because we "refused" to show it, I ran out of room on the DVR's that have been recording every match daily. We are (and will continue to) showing replays every day, but I made the mistake and I apologize. If we had it recorded, out of all matches we replayed, that definitely would be the one. — Dstaf

Thanks for the reply, Dstaf, I appreciate it! And yeah, I should have been more clear. No one refused to show anything; an employee just said that it had been rescheduled. -tg

— We will continue to support Soccer fans when world cup is over. We will be open at 7AM on Saturday August 14th for opening day of the English Premier League and also show most UEFA Champions League games via Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, GolTV, ESPN3 & many other soccer friendly feeds. — Dstaf

2010-06-23 16:57:27   In regards to the World Cup games, yeah they are trying to make a buck but I don't mind cashing my 5 dollar coupon in for a glass of orange juice and joining the throngs of USA fans. Check out this video from this morning. Is this not worth 5 bucks?

Thanks for posting & shooting the video. It was shown briefly on ESPN's telecast before the USA/Ghana match.

2010-07-12 00:09:33   I just have to say it: I don't like the grad, period. It seems like the shadiest people go there to dance and the ambiance sucks (epileptic seizure-inducing lights and stifling fog machine...ugh!). I'm sure the food must be good...but save your time and hit sac up for a proper club. Props to highlighting the "Bouncer Incident"—seems to be consistent with a lot of stories that I have heard. —ArianeMetz

2010-08-04 15:42:02   @ redbike, but...they wanted to give me a 9 dollar refund on a 12 dollar order. —Tron

2010-10-23 19:50:14   This place is terrible. Not only am I charged to get into a bar, but the dancing part sucks as well. I went last Halloween and even thought it was Halloween they still had country night. All it is is line dancing, which if you don't know how to do the dance makes it very hard to be on the dance floor at all. I had a horrible time and spent the entire night outside to listen to the people sing karaoke while everyone around me smoked. >:P I came back a different time to try the food and it was bad as well for the money. —OrofinJackson

2010-11-8 16:01:34   I have to say two thumbs down to the grad for cancelling their early picnic day events and festivities on account of the past year. Does the owner really think people will not drink at 6 am just because his establishment will not be open? People are going to get drunk on Picnic Day regardless of which restaurants and bars are open or not. —jmbresci

No doubt they recognize that it's going to happen one way or another, but maybe they don't want to be a part of the problem. It could have something to do with the City of Davis's take on the issue, given that the family that owns the place also helps run things. —TomGarberson

2010-11-13 07:12:37   The Grad currently has the four Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary brews on tap—an imperial stout, an imperial helles, a black barleywine, and an oaked blend of their bigfoot (spring seasonal), celebration (winter seasonal) and fresh pale (not one I was familiar with). Last night (Friday, 11/12/10) they did a tasting at $10 for a small glass of each of the four. Pints are $6.75 each. I'd be surprised if they last long. They also have 3 other common SN brews on tap: the pale ale, Torpedo IPA, and a "Northern Hemisphere" wet hopped ale. I wasn't familiar with the Northern Hemisphere until last night, but it's very tasty, and apparently now pretty widely available in stores. —TomGarberson

2010-11-18 16:57:34   Two thumbs up to The Grad for deciding not to open up at 6 am again next Picnic Day. The Grad is a veteran Davis institution and has a longer-term business interest at stake than just capturing a bit of the stupidity. Picnic Day will always involve some partying students, and The Grad can't solve last year's problems by itself, but at least it can avoid liability for the more egregious drunkenness. For those individuals - and lots weren't even students at UC Davis during last year's charades on Picnic Day - who need to start shotgunning beers at 6 am, it is their constitutional right to do it somewhere else. Good job, The Grad! —Flokkenfisch

I suppose. I can't be the only resident of Davis who, having lived a few years as an academic nomad in a handful of midwestern college towns, would find the hand-wringing about Picnic Day hijinks/stupidity to be utterly hilarious if it weren't so risible. The very peak of Picnic Day outrageous decadence rates as an average Thursday evening in Ann Arbor or Madison, yet seems to affect many Davis residents the way that 9/11 affected Fox News. Sheesh. Relax. I'd much rather The Grad lose a few TVs and a dance night or two so I could actually enjoy that sweet lineup of taps without running the risk of a Brad Paisley rockblock... By saving a little electricity they might actually find themselves with a decent neigborhood pub!—Swilltopower

"the grad was fun when my buddies and I went"

2011-02-08 19:59:34   When I went to Salsa dancing night, they didn't start the lessons until 9:30. Rumor was that "nobody showed up on time so they pushed it back" —MattCorey

Salsa Dance lessons starting at 9:30pm is the scheduled start time for Tuesday nights.

2011-02-10 18:09:30   went here to watch the entire MLB playoff games (GO SF GIANTS) with my boyfriend and his roommates and I loved it :) the food was delicious and their big screen tvs are amazing..wish they had more hip hop nights though —thesilvercloud

2011-03-23 11:53:35   O.K... so most of the comments here seam to be a lot about late night dancing, drinking, and such. Which of course is fine. I am a lunch time regular and have been for 10 years. I am here to talk about the food. The grad has always had the best burgers in town. and the fries! O.m G! the food is always hot and consistently good. They have really great sandwiches as well. The pastrami is awesome! I prefer their hamburgers over Burgers and Brew anytime! —ashleyinthemist

2011-03-30 21:48:29   Went here a couple of times for lunch. Food is good. They should have a better system for calling out customers names when their food it ready. —purplemonkey

2011-05-5 21:48:29   Good happy hour beers and decent veggie burger. Bands are often bad though :( Plenty of room to meet up with friends—bobobb

2011-06-30 16:30:46   Charlie, I have been a loyal customer at the Grad for years. I am so excited to try Our House! Can't wait till you offer lunch. I usually eat out for lunch more than dinner. I will give it a try tomorrow night and report my experience. I'm so excited! —ashleyinthemist

2011-07-26 20:17:24   You all should give Our House a try. It is so good! —Sherri

2011-08-05 10:14:33   Used to come here at lunch in High School and just eat a basket of fries(!) Great local history in this place, that door always seemed so huge when I was a kid. Not too often these days that you see a place like this (this size) in a small strip mall... just speaks to the fact that back when it opened, there just weren't any other places in the area to go (outside downtown). I hope the Grad stays around forever. —OldDavis73

2011-10-19 13:14:22   The beer selection is great here. But personnel at this establishment are a succession of bully-ish-snobbish morons. I've lived in Davis for 4 years and have gone to the graduate a few times, with a good time-lag between each. Often, I've had the experience of simply trying to order a beer, and the idiot behind the bar begins to engage in an act of negotiation..."Are you surrrrrre that's what you want?", then turning around after I order and walking away. I'm not the indecisive type. Another time, I asked if we could change the channel on a TV station, and the waiter says "No, my boy is watching this". I then asked "his boy" if he was watching that particular game and he said "No". The bartender heard this, but he still said he didn't "feel like" changing the channel. Now a simple rule of social dynamics suggests that personality might trickle from the top (management) down (to the waiters). Here is a piece of data supporting that hypothesis: Last year during the NCAA championship football game, my wife and I went to the grad. It was packed. There was a single open seat at a table with a single stool at it. Nothing to indicate anyone was sitting there. We waited five minutes, and then I let my wife sit there. A guy came walking up 5 minutes after that and said to my wife: "I was sitting there. You'll have to move". First, any gentlemen would let a lady have his seat. Second, this is not the 3rd grade. We are in a bar, and we are adults; there are no "saves-ies". I held my temper, but I also told my wife she was fine. She can sit there. The guy starts to get upset. Now here's the kicker. The owner comes down (he was watching on a camera), and says "That was his seat. Give him his seat back". Unbelievable. We left. I shook the owners hand, but nicely told him in a low tone that he was acting like a ass. He yelled across the bar to his bully morons to make sure we find the door even though we were walking out. You can't make this stuff up. I'm done with this place. Sadly, they really do have a great beer selection though. But I suggest you go here if you enjoy being around borderline-retarded bullies. —jaybullsplainfield

2011-10-21 15:16:08   I never thought I would post on the wiki, but Jaybulls comment above has motivated me. I have had a series of terrible experiences at the Graduate as well. I have no idea why everyone that works there acts like jerks, but its true. I hate this place. I always feel bad when i leave. I'm never going there again. —vultron1979

2011-10-31 11:32:17   This is one of the most creepy/uncomfortable/awkward bars I've ever been to. Been there once, and I'm never going back. —Steve-M

2012-03-02 14:53:45   Nice place that has been around for awhile. I enjoy the salsa nights on tuesdays and the burgers. Just noticed they had a groupon. Missed that one! For some reason I miss the days when I was living in Davis. Nice town and the Graduate is definitely a landmark for the students and town. —ResonsibleStudent

2012-05-23 18:30:38   This place is notorious for bad service, bad food, and bad atmosphere in general. No-one I know goes to this place. If you like being insulted by the waistaff and eating over-priced fried leftovers, go here. I noticed described on this page that it was a "tougher" version of wood stock's. OK. Yes. Tougher. Who wants to go someplace tough? I don't get it. I'm surprised it is still open. —mason.p

A couple of things about the above anonymous comment: First, the Grad doesn't have a "waitstaff", so I'm not even sure this commentor is talking about the right place. Second, any insinuation that the Grad is "tough" is an insult to toughness. If you think the Grad is "tough", I hope for your safety that you never leave Davis. —WillArnold

2012-07-06 16:40:52   I agree with you Will. I am an older customer. I have been coming here for years. Tough? What? This is a great place to go! It is a landmark for goodness sake. Do you think it would still be a booming business if it was as you say....tough? The food is solid and the owners have always treated me with dignity and respect. —ashleyinthemist

2012-07-06 16:58:53   I agree with both of the above. Just because it's not that well lit doesn't mean it's tough! Prior to the arrival of the Beer Shoppe, this was my go-to place for a beer. These days I don't go as often, but I still come by every month or two for good beer and some of the best chicken wings in town (second only to Sudwerk if you ask me). Service ranges from mediocre to reasonably good and staff attitudes have always been anywhere from indifferent to friendly. I've never run into anyone I'd call nasty, overtly tough, or unpleasant.

The two things they could do quite a bit better on the beer front is 1) replace kegs quicker - it's common to see probably 10+ tap handles covered; and 2) educate their bartenders about the beer they're serving. Many of the bartenders don't even know what variety a beer is, or what IPAs they have on tap (aside from the ones that say IPA on the handle).

A suggestion, in case anyone from the Grad reads this: print up some info sheets once a week or so with current and upcoming beers. The bartenders could cross them off as things run out and indicate what's been added from the upcoming list (if anything). Just a little info on variety, brewery, and location would be adequate. If they really wanted to improve on it, they could add more about tasting notes, ingredients, etc. Half a dozen binders with some plastic sleeves (since the bar often gets pretty damp) would let people peruse while waiting in line as well. —TomGarberson

2012-07-15 20:49:58   Simply put, best burger in town. *pulls up her flame shield* —KBathory

2012-09-08 18:56:38   I only go to the grad during football season because its the only sports bar around that plays every NFL game including my broncos. the football atmosphere there is amazing. I've been to other bars to watch games and nothing is like the grad. they may shotty service and their prices have gotten ridiculous but because I've been going there since i was 5 and their amount of TVs and seating is awesome, i wont go anywhere else. but as far as a night club I'd stick to down town.... —AllisonBoyd

2012-09-09 14:32:12   Pliny price went up to $8 a pint. No thanks. —MeggoWaffle

2012-09-22 16:51:45   Bad food high prices. —JamesMcCardle

2012-12-02 16:50:25   I used to regularly visit the Grad, but in the last two years this place has gone horribly down hill while the prices have become high and portions smaller and lower quality. Last year a man blew a "Snot Rocket" on the table where my children's food was. This man was never asked to leave and regularly visits the establishment. Today while attending there was a slimy substance literally stringing from a carrot that I picked up from my hotwing plate. Although I was given a refund, which I had to demand, I cannot give this place another chance. If this place gets a new manager I may give it another shot, but until then, never again. This place is disgusting! * I typically visit on a Sunday morning or Weekday afternoon (non bar/club hours).


2012-12-28 22:43:49   Lots of sports on TV, but bad and overpriced food. It's a real shame because there's so much good food in Davis. If all you want is to watch games with a wide selection of beer, I guess this is your place. But if you, like me, want a decent meal at a reasonable price, look elsewhere! —JamesMcCardle

2013-01-08 02:03:46   Staff is friendly enough. The food staff is better than the bar. The service at the bar is just mediocre. Bartenders who couldn't mix a drink if their life depended on it and don't seem to know jackshit about Beer.

Biggest complaint: being asked to leave the establishment to get a wrist band to order from Bar. It's like some stupid rule that once the clock ticks 9pm the bartender suddenly cannot check I.D.'s anymore, really stupid.

Oh and the Bouncers are of course aggressive and belligerent meat heads. Welcome to Davis y'all. —shraken

2013-02-20 15:48:07   I come in here with a friend and order a Wicky Wacky Woo, and their dumba$$ BT tells my friend "We don't make that here." I don't care if it is a Cafe Bernardo drink, if someone's willing to tell you ingredients, make the drink, fricking lazies. —DonnieDarko

2013-03-09 22:30:57   I had a bad experience recently. I went to watch a game with a few friends on a Saturday early evening. I had to wait about 10 minutes for service when it wasn't very busy. I wanted a pitcher. They ran out of the beer that I wanted and could only fill the pitcher about 3/4 full. The bartender offered to give me a half pitcher of something else. When I told him what beer I wanted, he told me that he would have to charge me extra for the other beer. So I told him to give me whatever beer that was the same price as the original beer that I ordered. He proceeded to tell me that I was having a bad day and to relax. He made me pretty uncomfortable. My day was going great until I then. I also got carded three times by three different people while I was waiting for the bartender to serve me (this was at 6 p.m. on a Saturday). I'll be watching my games at home or elsewhere for awhile. —striker

2014-08-24 14:04:08   Went there for salsa night on a date once. The salsa was fun and the teacher was good, but the bartender was terrible. I asked for an Old Fashioned and watched them use table sugar in lieu of a sugar syrup. Will never order a cocktail there again. —Clinton.Gibson



2015-07-19 22:49:19   Surprisingly good place for families before 7pm. We take the kids, they play air hockey, and the adults can have a drink with dinner. —NoelBruening