Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

May 31, 2005 > eMocha


by Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson

It is lunch time and you have an hour to grab a bite to eat, get that desperately-needed cup of coffee and check your email. No longer will you need to make two or three stops to get it all done. You only need visit eMocha, the latest caf#232; to open in the Tri-City area.

"It's a beginning," said Mack Sandhu, a manager at eMocha. He and fellow investors noticed a void in the Tri-City area for a true internet caf#232; - one offering not only free internet access but gourmet food and drinks, as well. They teamed up and founded eMocha.

The caf#232; has a vibe like no other. It's a coffee bar, restaurant, smoothie place and internet caf#232; all rolled into one. People come to eMocha for the free Wi-Fi Internet access and stay for the ambience, great drinks and food. Don't have wireless capabilities on your laptop? No need to fret as the caf#232; is also equipped with land-line outlets. Don't have a laptop? The computer room is available for $3 per hour.

Of course, eMocha is about more than just free Wi-Fi. The drinks and food are on par with gourmet cafes found in San Francisco. They have the usual coffee house faire- house coffee, mochas, caramel mochas, cappuccinos and lattes. Coming soon are green tea smoothies, the latest thing in energy drinks. For the warm summer days ahead, all hot drinks can be made iced and Frentis (frozen coffee drink), blended ice coffee drinks, are also on the menu.

Not in the mood for java? Try a smoothie. The delicious and healthy alternative is made of the freshest fruits and non-fat yogurt blended together for a refreshing pick-me-up.

If you are in need of more than a drink to get you through the day, this place has got you covered. The lunch special is one of the best deals in the Tri-City area. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $4.95 will get you a hot panini sandwich, a frosty fruit smoothie and a bag of chips. The sandwiches (Chicken Bacon Club, Ham & Swiss and Grilled Cheese, to name a few) are not only delicious but about the same price or less than chain sub shops.

Everything at eMocha is prepared on the spot and from the freshest ingredients. Even the personal-size pizzas are baked on site, never frozen. While a hot-off-the-grill, made-to-order sandwich may take a few minutes more than grabbing a hamburger, it is certainly quicker and more convenient than a sit-down eatery. Besides, the short wait is more than worth it.

People often associate the term "Internet Caf#232;" with dark, dingy computer dens. On the contrary, eMocha is an inviting haven for quiet study, intimate conversation or intensive web surfing. A number of business and community organization find the caf#232; to be the perfect place for meetings. Whether it is a group of five sitting around a table or a Lion's Club meeting in the large party room, eMocha is the place to meet. The shop's conference room, complete with high-back leather chairs, is a popular spot for business lunches at the low rate of $10 per hour.

At no place is the adage "Good things come to those who wait," more accurate than eMocha. When it first opened, some hurried customers complained about the wait for sandwiches; however, eMocha's owners refuse to sacrifice quantity for quality. This pertains to the freshly prepared food as well as the delicious selection of drinks. Unlike many chain coffee shops where employees push buttons and espresso streams from a computerized machine, eMocha's espresso bar features an authentic, hand-driven machine, using only the best coffee beans. Milk is always cold and fresh, never reheated to cut costs.

Plain and simple, the caf#232;'s main focus is providing the customer with the best value and quality for their dollar. Not only are the prices extremely reasonable, the shop rewards its customers with the eMocha E card, a frequent buyer card that awards points for every purchase. Buy nine drinks and the tenth is free, nine pastries and the tenth one is free, nine hours on the computer and, you guessed, the tenth is free.

There is no other place like this in the Tri-City area. Period. Emocha is caf#232;, a Wi-Fi hotspot and community center all wrapped in one spacious, yet extremely comfortable spot.

The polished look and feel of eMocha often leads people to believe it is a franchise of a national chain. "People ask, 'I am going to Southern California, where can I find an eMocha in L.A.," noted Sandhu.

Although eMocha is destined to expand, for now, it is Union City's best kept secret waiting to be told.

"EMocha is going to be here for or a long time," promised Mack Sandhu.

The caf#232; is located at 33456 Alvarado Niles Road in Union City. For more information call (510) 429-9225

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