You're in the final weeks of the spring semester. Or your book club is keeping you really busy. Either way, would you like to read at the bar? No problem.
With the emergence of coffee bars in the Valley, there are plenty of places that support reading and booze without feeling like a real character or like you're about to be harassed. Here are a few picks that would surely make literary drinkers like Fitzgerald and Hemingway envious of our modern times.
First Draft Book Bar
300 West Camelback Road, #1
Currently Reading: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Attached to Changing Hands' Phoenix location, First Draft Book Bar creates atmosphere that is neither cafe, bar, nor bookstore — but a blend of all three. Speaking of blend, it also feeds the need for book lovers to have a coffee, wine, cocktail, beer of their choice.
As the first of its kind in Phoenix, First Draft prides itself on creating a unique space that can host events like a coloring party sponsored by Modern Times Brewery. “We’re super-excited to have a place and a space that book lovers and beer and wine drinkers can come and feel welcome, and most importantly, have a conversation,” bar manager Van-Lam Tran says. With over 30 canned beers plus whatever’s on tap, it's easy to order a craft beer like Golden Road’s Mango Cart to pair with your choice of reading.
Sip Coffee & Beer
Currently Reading: Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
The idea of a cafe-bar came as a marriage of two worlds from one generation to the next. As manager Moe Murillo narrated, owner Travis Radevski once thought to himself, “‘My father always sits with his buddies and they get together and they chat over coffee, and I like to do a similar thing, but with beer, so why not create that special place?’”
Five years later, Sip Coffee & Beer now has three locations. How exactly did Sip create not one, but three, popular hangout spots in the Valley? They translated their core values of community and craft in an ever-changing, competitive landscape. “The culture of Sip is craft; anything we do is craft,” says Murillo. Find sanctuary in the bustling atmosphere by turning the page with your own pick of poison, like the Maid in AZ signature cocktail.
3508 North Seventh Street, #100
Currently Reading: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Urban Beans is celebrating its 10th year of being a cafe-bar, and as Phoenix evolves into a more “grown-up city,” Urban Beans’ 24-hour concept evolves with it. At the same time, the cafe remains true to its roots as a haven for creatives, writers, and artists.
“We want people to feel inspired by their environment to produce their art,” says one of the founders, Virginia Senior. “It’s my belief that everyone is an artist, they just need the environment and the confidence to create the art they have inside of them.” Urban Beans infuses coffee into several menu items, so don’t be afraid to cozy up at the bar with a White Russian — a coffee cocktail sure to inspire as you pursue your next literary adventure.
Jobot Coffee & Bar
333 East Roosevelt Street
Currently Reading: Victory by Linda Hirshman
Jobot wasn’t always a cafe-bar. They only added the bar part a few years ago, but they’ve always grown with the arts community. That influence is felt as you walk in to their eccentric space, located directly on Roosevelt Row.
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“We’re function over form versus form over function,” says owner John Sagasta. “We’ve always tried to utilize the space as much as we could in any way we can.” This translates into leveraging the wall space for local artists, bringing in DJs to support local musicians, and always being sure to keep up with the trends and nearby competition. During the weekend, make sure there's a book in one hand, and a Bloody Mary in your other.
Phoenix Public Market Café
14 East Pierce Street
Currently Reading: Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald
What started as a quick bike ride around downtown Phoenix became an inspirational vision for restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin. “I wanted to build a restaurant that was a community gathering spot…The idea was that we would be a cafe, a coffee-bar, and a bakery, and I did not see that at the time [in 2011].”
That was nearly two decades ago, and Phoenix Public Market is thriving while completing its daily mission to bring farm-fresh produce to its customers and build community through food. Because of Phoenix Public Market’s close ties to local farmers, we recommend pairing a sangria, which includes fresh, seasonal fruit as well as wine and brandy, with your favorite read.