Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A place for kids to play, and for parents to get away

Roo'sCafe1W

Ethan Gruenenay, foreground; Ellie McKee, background; and Austin Gruenenay, right; enjoy some time at Roo's Cafe, an indoor play place that gives kids a chance to work off their energy while their parents relax with a coffee or a smoothie and chat with friends. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | July 20, 2014 |

If you go

What: Roo’s Café, a children’s play place with food for adults, too

When: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

Where: 2939 Spafford St.

Admission: Free for infants up to 12 months, $3 for ages 13-24 months, $7 for ages 2-5; discounts are offered with purchase

Info: www.rooscafe.com

Virtually every Davis parent with little kids has looked longingly toward the giant play structures at fast-food joints, envisioning entertainment and energy release for their kids, which spells respite for the parents.

But then the struggle begins: Do I really want to feed my kids that food? Do I want to eat that food?

If only there were a healthy alternative. Oh, and wouldn’t it be amazing if it actually had a bit of adult style, hip even, with a menu to appeal to adult taste buds, too.
Now that parental dream has come true right here in Davis, with the opening of Roo’s Café last December. The eatery, at the corner of Fifth and Spafford streets, combines a colorful children’s play area with a sleek spot where adults can enjoy a gourmet smoothie or nibble on a panini and chat while the little ones are grandly entertained.
“It is very cheery and the kids love it, and it has comfy chairs for us moms,” said Davis mom Lori McKee as she sipped her Arnold Palmer iced tea (tea/lemonade), escaping summer’s heat. “It is a great place, especially to take the younger kids while the older ones are in school or at other activities.”
Necessity sparks invention
The idea for the café sprung to life after owner Ru Zheng became a mother and tried to get to the park each day with her now nearly 4-year-old son Kai. The question quickly became what to do when it is raining or in the intense heat of the Central Valley summer.

Having heard of places around the country that combine space for adults with a playground for kids, she determined to create one right here in Davis. A café was a natural for Zheng, who began working in her family’s Chinese restaurant when she was 11 years old.

“I loved the idea of a place for parents, where you can get a cup of coffee or sandwich and not be completely surrounded by kids like at home,” Zheng explained. “I knew it could be sophisticated and still have a fun play area for the kids.”

Leather chairs and sophisticated colors make it feel more like a New York coffeehouse than a kids’ play place.

The Roo’s Café menu includes pastries baked fresh daily, healthy smoothies, gourmet coffees and teas, and sandwiches like The Italian Job panini, with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and fresh basil on a grilled ciabatta.

New items debut all the time. The latest: the Banho Mi, a Vietnamese hoagie, and Thai iced tea.

And for kids, there is everything from a fruit cup to healthy chicken nuggets, from a yogurt parfait to an edamame-and-hummus platter.

Roo’s Café has begun to introduce classes and special events for both kids and adults. There is a music class on Saturdays at 11 a.m. that is included in the price of admission.

“We wanted to make it fun for a child to be able to take a class, then the family can just stay and play,” Zheng said.

And for adults, Roo’s Café will debut its first Date Night later in July. From 6 to 8 p.m., while the kids have supervised play inside and eat dinner, the parents are invited to relax out on the patio while they enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner and music.

What’s next?

In the future, Zheng plans to add more classes and mini-summer camps, along with family-oriented events such as a Kids Fair.

“We really want to be part of the community, to be a service to families in Davis, and part of that will be to bring together in one place all the various organizations that offer services, activities, and products that families would be interested in,” she said.

Roo’s Café is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. All-day admission to the play area is free for those up to 12 months old; $3 for ages 13 to 24 months; and $7 for kids ages 2-5.

Entrance is free for up to two kids with a $20 purchase, 75 percent off with $15 purchase, 50 percent off with a $10 purchase and 25 percent off with a $5 purchase.

Each additional child is $3.

For more information, check out www.rooscafe.com.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Family enterprise builds a home for music

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Mosquito districts sprays tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Poll dancing, direct from Las Vegas

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Movies in the Park return this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vintage car show planned this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Grief support focuses on journaling

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    How the Bockler wasp got its name

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Not sure which direction to go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Violence as entertainment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Shocked at vampires story

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

    By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

    Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Gravel mining affects us all

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s rally to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Brady earns top honors at State Fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Calvin D. Rourke

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6