Is it too obvious to name your coffee shop/cafe after the neighborhood where it’s located?
It doesn’t seem to be a problem for husband-wife team Liam Murtagh and Emily Spetrino, who recently have taken over the kitchen at the cafe on the corner of Seventh Street and East Monte Vista Road in Central Phoenix. “A friend of mine is the landlord, and he was like, ‘Hey, [Urban Vine] closed, so I think this would be a great opportunity for you here to open a restaurant,’” Murtagh says. “It was just good timing for this transition.”
For years, the address housed The Coronado Café, and then for a hot minute, chef Michael O’Dowd and partner John Rothstein took over the place and executed a high-end lunch and dinner spot, Urban Vine. But Urban Vine didn’t fit the neighborhood, and after just over a year, it shut its doors. The cafe came with a full liquor license and a full kitchen, so it was easy for Murtagh and Spetrino to move right in.
The timing could not have been better for the couple, who recently closed their vegan culinary venture at Bragg’s Pie Factory in search of a change of pace and different locale.
Murtagh says his kitchen places emphasis on cooking fresh vegetarian dishes with unique ingredients, and sourcing things locally when ever possible. He adds that they are adding to the menu every day. He’s especially proud of the fresh milk he’s been buying from local dairy Danzeisen Dairy. The milk comes in large refillable glass bottles — just like in the good old days. Murtagh says, yes, the glass bottles are initially an expense, but they can be refilled at the dairy, and over the long run, they become more cost-effective.
“I really just like being able to see animals treated like animals, and not just like a giant milk machine,” Murtagh says. He adds that he also likes to source things locally when ever possible.
Murtagh and Spetrino have created a short list of breakfast and lunch/dinner foods to keep things manageable — for now. Murtagh says the list is growing because they keep meeting vendors they want to work with and adding more inventions.
The breakfast menu includes biscuits and gravy, a market vegetable scramble, jalapeño waffle and toast or biscuit and jam. For lunch, the Coronado offers some unique options including a fried zucchini torta ($11), a goat cheese and jalapeño marmalade quesadilla ($6) and a black coffee chili served with cornbread ($9).
“The pastries we are doing all in-house,” Murtagh says. They have a pastry chef friend, Marie Belfiglio, who came from The Mission and the House Brasserie in Scottsdale. She is doing entirely vegetarian baking and slowly growing her list since she is new to this style of baking, he says. The Coronado features Mexican wedding cookies, Aleppo chile brownies, and several other sweets, some vegan and some gluten-free.
At Bragg’s, they did simple drip coffee and toddies. But at The Coronado, they have full-coffee service with a state-of-the-art La Marzocco Linea machine. The Coronado buys its coffee from local roaster Xanadu, owned and run by former LoFi Coffee partner, Randy Denton, who started selling his roasted beans at the original Phoenix Public Market around six years ago (the market formerly was a locally grown focused grocery story with a lunch counter).
Signature coffee drinks include the horchatte ($4.50, $5), Coronado’s take on a spicy espresso mixed with the traditional Mexican cinnamon and rice drink. Seasonal drinks include the salted brown butter rum latte ($5, $5.50) and maple latte ($4.50, $5).
The Coronado is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A full coffee menu and full bar is available, as well as lunch and dinner. For more information, check The Coronado website and Facebook.
Editor's Note: This post has been edited from its original version.