Great Coffee of all types, BUT LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP AT HOME. These people at the Royal Coffee Bar are convinced that you're trying to hack their WiFi or download "illegal" material. They don't know how to maintain their system --like junk files, registry clean-up, and defrag. As a result, if you do get a connection it's piss-poor on an otherwise kick ass cox feed, but stalls due to the router's programmed shut-off timer. Good luck getting the security key. Paranoia is high, have another cup while jittery "hackers" walkabout.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE HOUSE, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX - 2007
Royal Coffee Bar - CLOSED
With the real deal of a downtown Phoenix seemingly on the horizon, we've been longing (cups in hand) for a friendly java joint. Gloriously, we recently happened onto one just south of Sheriff Joe's empty old jail down on Jackson Street, and have found ourselves returning again and again. Royal is a small operation a half-dozen chairs, a few cozy, black leather couches, and a couple of tables inside (there's also outdoor seating) on the ground floor of a newly opened apartment complex that seems populated with folks who don't plan on staying there long. An eclectic music mix plays all day. There's free Wi-Fi, certainly another plus. Adorned with colorful, abstract paintings and other locally made art, Royal is a welcoming place, mostly because of co-owner (with her brother) Gwen McNeil, a sassy, smart lady with a long memory for the off-the-wall requests of her many regulars. Gwen wears her feelings on her rolled-up sleeves, and the very idea of having to make a decaffeinated beverage with fat-free milk and a shot of sugar-free vanilla for the odd customer inevitably comes with an extended roll of her large, DeGrazia-like eyes and sad shake of the head. But even those results of her labors are delicious.