Jeff Fischer, owner of Lux Coffeebar in Central Phoenix, tells me a question he asked Chris Bianco a while back.
"I asked him why he started his pizzeria," Fischer says. "He said, 'I did it because I knew if I liked it, other people would like it, too.'"
That thinking inspired Fischer as he embarked on a new concept for his popular neighborhood coffee house. With a desire for more space and some new ideas, Fischer bought the former clothing store just south of the original location late last year and went to work on a new vision.
A vision that, Fischer tells me, "combines the comforts of home with a few things people might have never seen."
Fischer says the new space has an atmosphere of home and community.
"The steel box windows have sills, so there's a feeling of looking out into the backyard while mom makes dinner."
Along with intimate lighting, exposed brick, and rich woods, there's also a vintage Olivetti typewriter (Fischer collects them) to add a bit of nostalgia.
"It's like a grown up version of Lux," Fischer tells me. "I don't know if I set out to do anything else but make people feel at home."
Fischer tells me the new Lux Coffee Bar, now called Lux Central, will continue its DJ'd music and promotion of local artists (Mexican/Kickapoo painter and sculptor Hector Ruiz is helping to curate the new space) in addition to serving up caffeinated concoctions courtesy of new equipment including a La Marzocco handmade espresso machine. Fischer tells me the hours will be expanded to 6 a.m. to midnight every day with a possibility of staying open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
One of the biggest differences will be one Fischer's quite comfortable with.
"We'll be bringing in a solid wine list, a unique beer selection, and hand-crafted cocktails," Fischer says. "I used to be a barkeep at T. Cook's, so this is my area of expertise."
Lux Central will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Fischer says, and when it comes to food, the menu will be small and fluid, with comfort dishes like meatloaf, potatoes au gratin, tapioca pudding, cheeseburgers, and Spanish-style tapas. And until the kitchen is officially complete at Lux Central, the facilities at the old space will be used instead.
And although Lux Central isn't much of a name change, we should be grateful Fischer decided against using his first idea.
"I wanted to call the place, 'Bread Meat Wine Water Spirits Always Meet Here Home,' but I didn't know how I would fit the name on the door."
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