King Coffee Mixes in Cocktails — and Mead — with The Lounge

The Lounge at King Coffee serves cocktails and small plates, offering a "chill party vibe" that can be an alternative to the rowdy Mill Avenue bar scene in Tempe.
The Lounge at King Coffee serves cocktails and small plates, offering a "chill party vibe" that can be an alternative to the rowdy Mill Avenue bar scene in Tempe. Courtesy King Coffee
King Coffee is offering another way to get buzzed. The casual Tempe coffee shop transforms into The Lounge at King Coffee three nights a week, serving cocktails, mead, beer, and small plates.

“We’ve enjoyed having a place where folks can feel welcomed and build that sense of community,” says Sallie Figueroa, who owns King Coffee with her sister, brother-in-law, and son. “One of the things we realized is there’s that opportunity to provide that community feel in the evenings.”

With the shop’s proximity to Arizona State University and the theater crowd at ASU Gammage, adding a gathering place that can be an alternative to the rowdy Mill Avenue bar scene made sense.

“We wanted to have a space where people can come and gather, and there’s not anything similar to that in that area,” Figueroa says.

The coffeehouse is the perfect student hangout but should also be in the regular rotation for locals, Phoenix New Times recommended when placing King Coffee among its 10 best coffeehouses

“King Coffee by day is a comfortable, welcoming space with an eclectic mix of customers,” Figueroa says. With The Lounge, the aim is to create a “chill party vibe."
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King Coffee expanded its hours and offerings with The Lounge at King Coffee. A boozy weekend brunch launches later this month.
Courtesy King Coffee
The tight list of $10 cocktails infuses tea and coffee – from martinis featuring espresso and chai to a John Daly. King Coffee regulars may also recognize some of their flavored syrups used in cocktails, such as the lavender syrup in the Bee’s Knees. Putting a twist on classics is something their baristas do, and that’s being echoed with The Lounge, Figueroa says.

“Building on that creativity translates perfectly into crafting cocktails,” she says.

The Lounge at King Coffee also offers select beer in cans and mead, nodding to its noble name and the preferred tipple of royalty.

“We just stumbled upon it and we really enjoyed the different offerings,” Figueroa says, noting their meads are from local brewer Superstition Meadery. “It’s not something typically on a bar or restaurant menu, and we just really wanted to share that with the community.”

Small bites including bruschetta, grilled cheeses, and dips with housemade bagel chips are also available. Need to satiate that sweet tooth? Munch on one of their caffeine-fueled desserts, such as affogato.

The Lounge is the first step in expanding the offerings from King Coffee. Figueroa says they will also start offering weekend brunch with cocktails later this month.

The Lounge at King Coffee

1020 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.
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Sara Crocker is a food writer for Phoenix New Times. She has called Phoenix home since 2020, getting to know the Valley through every restaurant, brewery and bar she can. Her work has also appeared in Phoenix Magazine, Phoenix Home & Garden and The Denver Post.
Contact: Sara Crocker

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