Monday, February 3, 2014

@ Phoenix Coffee in Cleveland Height's Coventry Village

My blog post this week isn't steering far from the local scene in highlighting a long-established indie coffee shop in Coventry Village, and eastern Cleveland, in general.

Devon was gracious enough to pose for the camera Sunday
while holding one of Phoenix's eye-catching
paper coffee cups.
Phoenix Coffee is a Cleveland-based roasting company and overseer of a small chain of coffee shops east of Downtown Cleveland. Of the three, I've only managed to visit the shop in Coventry because it is slightly closer than the one on Lee Road.

The shop moved to a one-story building at the corner of Coventry and Hampshire Road in September. I hadn't visited the shop since the move, but wanted to check it out Sunday, Jan 26. My boyfriend, Matt, was working in Mount Vernon that day, but my coworker and coffee connoisseur Devon Turchan agreed to brave the weekend snow storm and join me for coffee.

Devon is a frequent-flyer of Phoenix Coffee, so it only seemed appropriate.

A similar Phoenix sign, pictured here, will be
going up in front of the coffee shop's new location
on Coventry and Hampshire roads,
as I was told by a barista Sunday. 
Location: I am all about coffee shops blending well with their surroundings, but Phoenix in Coventry might have taken it just a little too far. I had to a walk through the north end of Coventry Road twice before spotting a bunch of hipsters and Phoenix-branded merchandise through the window of a plain brick building. Phoenix takes up about a third of the building on the corner of Hampshire and Coventry, but because it lacks signage, I thought the space was a part of the adjacent "Laura Lee Salon."

I wondered if the objective was to keep its location a secret for the exclusive crowd of hipsters, but I latter learned workers plan to have a large sign up in the next few weeks.

Overall though, Phoenix is in a great place for visitors. I admit, Coventry is past its prime of growth, but it offers a refreshing and slightly less overwhelming scene away from other indie destinations like Ohio City and University Circle. On Sunday, Devon and I even managed to find my boyfriend a Valentine's Day gift soon after coffee.

Another important note to know:
a refill on my large coffee was $2.05.
Food and Beverage: Phoenix isn't something you want to go to on an empty stomach, unless you're looking to fill up on bagels, scones and pastries. But for what Phoenix lacks in options, it makes up in presentation, namely its paper cups. Although I will always ask for huge mugs when I can, the colorful light designs of the paper cups are something to write about and veer greatly from the dark moody paper cups I am all too used to seeing at coffee shops.

On Sunday, Devon ordered a cranberry citrus scone and a large light roast coffee for $5 and change. I ordered a sesame seed bagel with full-fat cream cheese and a large coffee for $6 and change.

Space and Atmosphere: Phoenix's new location trades in dimmer, dinning-room-like space for fresher, brighter chrome-like space. Because I don't have photos of the old location, I am working mostly from memory, mind you.

Here's a wide shot of the front half of the interior Phoenix
Coffee's new Coventry location.
Although some of my friends dispute which location is better, I've grown to accept Phoenix's new Coventry location as slightly more appealing. Sure, I miss the red classy aura I remember from the old, but the new location offers plenty of natural light with its large side windows and integrates plenty of wood work into its design, breaking it apart from the overly bland and steering it away form the obnoxious look of a frozen yogurt joint.

Besides that, the new location has a tad bit of more seating, which is important. I swear, every Case Western Reserve and John Carroll University student studies at the Phoenix on Coventry. Sunday was no different. My options were split between sitting at the almost-crowded computer-work bar or a small table nestled between two larger tables. I decided on the table only because I knew the obnoxious after-church-chit-chat between Devon and I would disrupt some poor college student's studying.

With free Wi-Fi and wide option of wall outlets, Phoenix offers patrons a steady work environment, as well as a chill venue for small groups of friends. With that said, it is important to be weary of how busy Phoenix is before making plans. Even with the stormy, wintry weather Sunday morning brought out, it was clear that Devon and I weren't the only people who liked to live dangerously.



Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via email--shusted@news-herald.com--or on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.

No comments:

Post a Comment