A new non-chain coffee place opened in Merced called Coffee Bandits.
The location is on Main st. and MLK next to the old theater.
They serve locally roasted coffee from Clayton's in Modesto and 'San Joaquin Roasting Company' from parts unknown. The baristas can make a pretty good cappucino , and pull decent espresso shots, definitely much better than Starbucks.
They use San Joaquin Beans for the espresso which I thought was quite good.
The cafe has an eclectic interior that borders on the shabby.
Coffee Bandits is a nice addition to the downtown scene, and they serve good coffee worth the visit.
I do think the staff need to hone their coffee skills more to bring out the best of their coffee to show people why to patronize them and not Starbucks.