We’re no Seattle (or New York, or Chicago or Portland), but it’s no secret that Downtown Phoenix is supporting a decidedly growing coffee culture. In full disclosure, I consider myself more than slightly addicted to coffee, and the thought of going to get a cup right now sounds enticing. I’m always intrigued to hear of new spots opening, and this year has seen its fair share of notable openings. Sure, there are locally owned coffee spots all over the Valley, but 2009 has really been the year of the espresso shot in Downtown Phoenix.

There’s an ever-growing list of hipster hangouts, java-scented corners and makeshift co-working locations. Is it over saturation, or is it a growing indication that this is a relevant place (something that’s seemingly debated on a day-to-day basis)?

Despite mainstays like Lux and Conspire, this year we’ve seen a bevvy of new coffee locales: Fair Trade Café‘s second location in Civic Space Park, Royal at the Market‘s arrival in the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar, Lola Coffee‘s instant success in a booming Uptown strip center and Urban Beans‘ laid-back vibe on 7th Street.

There’s only a few weeks left in the year, but we may have three brand new places to get our first coffee of 2010 if opening dates hold up.

Cartel, the reigning king of independent coffeehouses in Tempe, is opening a location across the street from the CityScape site. The space, which was once another coffeehouse (Hot Shotz), opens in mid-December, and is bringing the infamous Clover espresso machine from the other location along for the ride.

UPDATE: Cartel is officially open at 1 N. 1st St. as of 12.08.09.

The-Link-Giant-Coffee

The Link building will soon host Giant Coffee

Matt Pool’s notoriously delayed but very much anticipated Giant Coffee seems just about ready to open, but we’re not quite sure he has the menu down just yet. Preview events of the space have yielded positive reviews, and Pool’s latest projection has the space inside the Link building (home to [merz]project) opening sometime before Christmas.

Then there’s the second outpost of Lola Coffee (the first has barely been open six months) in the historic Gold Spot Building. After Calabria deli unexpectedly closed up this summer, it seemed the Gold Spot was a doomed locale. Now that Lola and Pita Jungle have both started the move-in process, this could be the most happenin’ corner in Roosevelt. Since it’s the closest java place to Fort DPJ, expect to see me there often. Probably too often. Details on an opening date are mum, but there are whispers of a late December opening.

UPDATE: Lola Coffee is open at 1001 N. 3rd Ave. as of 12.18.09.

So, my New Years resolution is to drink more local coffee. See you all out there, sipping your joe.


  • Wow – Lola opening too!? I think one thing that would guarantee success for those spots is *delivery*… even if all places hired one person to deliver everything. Imagine ordering your food from Pita Jungle and Coffee from Lola and having it all delivered to your house within 1/2 of a mile (oh, and at the same time picking up your dry cleaning!)…. remember, there’s probably around 900 people living at Roosevelt Square alone… not to mention the additional 2,000 or so living at the Embassy, Artisan, Portland Place, and all the homes and small apartment buildings nearby. I always told Calabria, if they just added a pizza oven and delivery they’d be rolling in the dough… but it didn’t happen. Now there’s Bambino next door, with a pizza oven and rarely a single person there…. if Bambino is reading this, hang in there and start up some delivery!

    I can’t wait for the new, new downtown. I think it’s going to be more about the small stuff than the big stuff like CityScape, unless CityScape gets a Target and an H&M store.

    • Lola is getting pretty close. I peeked in last night and they have the seats, couches and espresso machine all in place.

      I love your delivery idea… I hope Bambino is taking note!