Cafe Midi on Maroa and Fern

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Re: Cafe Midi on Maroa and Fern

Post by Geode33 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:48 pm

Found this by accident....but very happy to stumble upon it. Raised in Fresno until I was 18 in 1980....and, while young in the 70's, I remember Cafe Midi off Shaw. Reason I was thinking about it was I made one of their original recipes at home today (not as good), which I make frequently over the last 40 years and remember LOVING it when very young! It was tuna on a English muffin with a tomato and cheddar cheese melted on top. Such good memories of the great menu at the restaurant. Unique and special memories of lunch with my Grandma, Mom and sister.

Re: Cafe Midi on Maroa and Fern

Post by Elizabeth » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:53 pm

When my then husband got a teaching job at City College in 1963, we found the original Midi to be a haven of super hamburgers, xtra strong coffee and the best overheard conversations south of Berserkeley. We had almost a weekly date night at Midi and loved grouchy gabby maven Mort a real treasure. The second Midi was zilch and we missed Mort, the magazines and the ambience...farewell sweet old joint of our youth!

Re: Cafe Midi on Maroa and Fern

Post by Good Time Tim » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:20 am

When Mort and his partner moved the Café Midi to Shaw and Maroa, the old location on Fern and Maroa became a Laundromat for some time. When it went under, a friend of mine, Doug, opened it back up as the Café Paloma. It only lasted about 6 months but had the same menu as the Café Midi and utilized a lot of the same workers, myself one. The George Paul Quintet played there several times on weekends before they became Sioux City Zoo. Unfortunately the Tower District lunch crowd never warmed back up to the European style coffeehouse with the Mexican restaurant name. A fellow named Bernie followed and renamed it Swiss Café or something like that. It also went under shortly. Everyone who has posted here can definitely agree that the old Café Midi was the coolest place in town.

Re: Cafe Midi, the one on Maroa

Post by Jill » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:00 am

Thanks for writing your memories of Cafe Midi, Carol. They sound very much like mine! Only I was fifteen on my first visit, and boy did I feel important and grown up!

Post by ilovefresno » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:34 am

I regret that I never got to the Cafe Midi at Maroa and Fern. By the time I heard about it, it was at Maroa and Shaw, and you are all so right, there was no atmosphere at all. It is sad that the original location became a laudromat for a few years, and has been boarded up for many years.

Post by dulcie » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:14 am

They served Orange Rum Royal: was there ever a more delicious concoction?

Post by Lost Fresno » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:10 pm

I remember the old Cafe Midi well. I had my first espresso there, I was 16 and didn't even drink coffee yet. When my girlfriend and I went to see Bullet at the Tower Theater, we stopped off at Cafe Midi afterwards. I felt like such an adult ordering my second espresso ever. Below is what the original Cafe Midi location looks like today.
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Post by a58pacer » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:54 am

That's odd. The Cafe Midi I remember on Maroa was just north of Shaw Ave. Not exactly Fig Garden, but definitely not Tower either! Year would be about 1967. Pacer

*Note by admin: Added newspaper clipping from 1968 showing Cafe Mid II near Fig Garden.
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Fresno Bee - Fri Nov. 8, 1968

Post by Carol » Mon May 23, 2011 10:56 am

WOW Café Midi that was an exciting place! I was a newly graduated high school student if I remember correctly and back then Fresno was still considered to be a country town. When the Café opened they had racks on the walls with magazines, books and newspapers from all around the world. I was so impressed! It was so different for our “one Pony town”, like a little piece of Height Ashbury there in the Tower. There were a lot of caricatures in there reading and drinking their exotic coffees, or so we thought back then. There was a professor looking person in slacks, cross-legged reading a foreign magazine, a rebellious looking college student that looked like he was ready to demonstrate against Viet Nam.

That new look of a glassy eyed drop out hung-over from the last hallucinate he’d taken, an old hermit, serious college students, some business people from the surrounding area and just looky-lus like me taking it all in with my post adolescent mind imagining stories about each character I stared at. I remember eating an unusual sandwich with sprouts on it and a coke as I had not yet developed a taste for coffee. This place gave me a feeling that I was part of something, a movement, a piece of a big city like San Francisco. It turned out to be like a cult of regulars that just kept going back and hanging out. Even the outside of the café was unusual for Fresno with its acid-rock handbills and underground student meeting flyers taped on the windows.

The one that opened in the Figs was never the same – I went once, terribly disappointed - and I am sure they did not want the same unsavory people out there. The new café was more of a “Who’s who” kind of place that had nothing to do with the original Café Midi. It was too far for the college students and way too expensive - and too hi profile for some of the others. In the back of my mind through the years I never forgot that place and always thought “I would like to open a place like Café Midi”

Post by Rodney » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:58 pm

I only went into Cafe Midi once or twice, but what I'll never forget is walking over to the cigarette machine (remember those?) and having the guy behind the counter run out and demand to see ID (I was 16 or 17). That was the only time anyone ever tried to stop me from buying cigarettes. How long ago was that? They cost a quarter a pack back then!!!

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