When I last visited Phoenix in January 2020, my first port of call was Mythical Coffee in Gilbert, which had, at that point, been open for just two weeks. It’s therefore fitting that on my return to Phoenix last month after a three-year absence, my first stop was Mythical North, Mythical’ s Scottsdale outpost. Not that Mythical North was entirely new to me, since I’d been a frequent visitor during its previous incarnation as Maverick Coffee. Located in the Paradise Valley Plaza, an old-style outdoor mall in Scottsdale, Mythical is conveniently located just around the corner from my usual hotel, making it a natural place to stop for my morning coffee, particularly on the drive to the office.
The change from Maverick to Mythical occurred in August 2022 and was more merger than takeover, Eric and the team at Mythical buying into the existing business. The changes have also been gradual rather than wholesale, the coffee shop feeling very much as it had been on my previous visits, although the coffee now all comes from Mythical, roasted off-site on a brand-new Loring roaster. The biggest (physical) difference is the expansion into the space next door, very much a work-in-progress.
You can see what else has changed (and what has stayed the same) after the gallery.
Paradise Valley Plaza is an older-style mall with lines of single and two-storey shops on four sides of a rectangle facing a central parking area. Mythical North is on the eastern side, near the bottom (southern) end, conveniently close to my hotel. There’s a deeply-recessed door on the left with a wide bay window on the right. The long, bench-like table which ran in front of the windows when it was Maverick has gone, but the pair of benches in the sheltered door recess remain. There are also plans for an extended patio area to the left, where Mythical is expanding into what was a Thai restaurant.
This expansion is more apparent when you step into the spacious interior. Initially, this felt to me much as it did when it was Maverick. However, when I looked to the left, instead of a wall, there was a large seating area extending into the adjacent space, with a temporary wall at the front where the new patio will be. Otherwise, the layout is much as it used to be, Mythical extending a long way back, split into two separate rooms by the counter, which runs almost the full width of Mythical, leaving a small gap on the left which connects to the cosy rear section.
While feeling very familiar, the seating’s been thinned out and rearranged since my last visit, with fewer sofas/armchairs and a neat new window-bar. In the main space, in front of the counter and to your right as you enter, a pair of sofas face each other across a large coffee table, while a row of two-person tables line the right-hand wall. A solitary two-person table stands in the middle, beyond the sofas, while beyond that is a neat, fitted window-bar which runs around the bay window and along the wall next to the door. This seats seven in all, on tall, white stools.
The new seating area to the left is a little quieter, but with the same, well-spaced tables. With work on-going on the patio, you can expect things to change, but for now a pair of long benches run along the back wall, home to three round, two-person tables. A six-person communal table runs front-to-back down the middle of the space, beyond which are a set of four tables arranged in a square, with three two-person square tables and one four-person one.
The cosy back room, the quietest of the three spaces, is accessed via a gap between the end of the counter and the retail shelves on the left-hand wall. This is about half the width of the main room, with the kitchen occupying the other half of the space on the right. There’s a three-person bar on your right as you enter, while a six-person, L-shaped bar runs along the left-hand wall and half-way across the back. Finally, in the right-hand corner at the back, there’s a four-person table.
The final seating, for now, is at the end of the counter, with a row of four stools tucked under the counter-top, perfect for watching the baristas at work.
I visited multiple times, picking up a cappuccino in my KeepCup on my drive to the office each morning, as well as getting my Frank Green Ceramic filled with the batch brew filter ready for my drive north to the Grand Canyon at the end of the week. However, my first visit was on Saturday morning, just over 12 hours after my arrival, when I popped in for coffee. Despite wearing a mask and not having met in over four years, I was immediately recognised by Eric, the owner.
I started with a one-and-one (espresso plus a piccolo) made with the Sisimite, a honey-processed coffee from Finca El Jutal in Honduras. On its own, this was a rich, smooth espresso, which carried over into the piccolo, where it held up well in conjunction with the milk. I returned the following day when Eric wasn’t there and bought a cortado (when Eric was serving, he wouldn’t let me pay for any of my coffee and even gave me a bag of the Sisimite as a parting gift).
The cortado was very different from the piccolo I’d had the day before as part of my one-and-one, with more floral notes, so I wasn’t surprised when I learnt that there’d been a change, the Chupacabra replacing the Sisimite in the hopper. This washed Ethiopian Yiragcheffe was on all week, also going very nicely in my morning cappuccinos and setting me up for the working day.
|10269 NORTH SCOTTSDALE ROAD • SCOTTSDALE • AZ 85253 • USA|
|https://mythicalcoffee.com||+1 480 278 4499|
|Monday||07:00 – 15:00||Roaster||Mythical Coffee (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 15:00||Seating||Tables, Sofas, Counter, Bar; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 15:00||Food||Breakfast, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 15:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 15:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 15:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||14th – 21st January 2023|
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