Firecreek Coffee Company was a chance discovery when I visited Flagstaff in February 2018. A roaster/coffee shop, Firecreek has a second location in Sedona, and has since opened a third in Cottonwood, as well as today’s Coffee Spot, it’s first venture in Phoenix. Located inside The Marylin, an iconic building that’s home to various offices, you’ll find Firecreek Arcadia on East Thomas Road, roughly equidistant between downtown Phoenix and Oldtown Scottsdale. While a car is advised (The Marilyn has an extensive parking lot), buses also run along East Thomas so it is, in theory, accessible by public transport.
The coffee shop is a beautiful, irregularly-shaped space, with a wide variety of seating both inside and out. The offering is familiar to anyone who has visited the original Firecreek in Flagstaff, the espresso-based menu catering to both the speciality coffee community, with options like the espresso set, and the more mainstream American coffee-drinker and their beloved 16oz lattes. There’s also batch-brew filter and pour-over made with the Clever Dripper or cafetiere using any of the available beans. Talking of which, all the coffee is currently roasted in Flagstaff, but Firecreek is in the process of opening a dedicated Phoenix roastery/coffee shop.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
At first sight, The Marylin, feels like a very modern building, but is actually almost 50 years old. A low, free-standing two-storey building, it’s all triangles and projecting metal girders, and is named after the owner’s mother (her picture hangs in the main lobby to the right of Firecreek). The Marylin stands on the corner of 46th and Thomas, just south of the Arcadia neighbourhood of Phoenix. There are several large, covered parking areas to the north and east, accessible from either 46th Street or Thomas Road, with Firecreek located in the southeast corner of the building on the ground floor. Looking from the parking lot towards 46th Street, the entrance is to the left of the main lobby, Firecreek running along Thomas Road, where you’ll find a generous, shaded outdoor patio with its own door, plus a third in the back of Firecreek, which also provides access to the restrooms.
Returning to the front of Firecreek, the entrance is set back into the structure, access via two broad, concrete steps. The door is on the right, separated from the main lobby entrance by a diagonal metal girder, while in front of the window to the left is a three-person table. Inside, you enter what is effectively Firecreek’s own lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows on the right separating it from the main lobby. There’s another three-person table on the right, while on the left, a cosy nook houses a two-person couch facing a slatted wooden bench. At the far end is a small retail section on the right, while a padded sofa-bench runs along the back wall.
This neat little area leads into the coffee shop proper, which opens up to the left, with the counter at the front (effectively behind you) looking down the length of Firecreek. A row of four two/three-person tables runs down the middle, with four tall tables along a raised, padded sofa-bench on the right, alternating four- and two-person tables. The door to the outdoor seating is on the left, followed by two more two/three-person tables, with another on the right, beyond the bench. Finally a second two-person couch sits in front the wall-to-wall windows at back, with a small coffee table to one side.
Firecreek’s third door is back here, on the left-hand side of the back wall/window, leading to a patio area at the back. If you turn right, you’ll find two restrooms, while going left takes you to the back of the main outdoor seating area. A row of six four-person tables, seating provided by back-to-back sofa-benches, is shaded by a row of tall umbrellas along the side of Thomas Road, while three small trees planted between the tables and the side of Firecreek offer further shade in the spring/summer.
Turning to coffee, I had the espresso set (otherwise known as a split shot), made with Firecreek’s ubiquitous Boxcar Espresso blend, which I paired with the vegan, gluten-free crumb cake, served warm. This was, as the name suggests, quite dry and crumbly, with a lovely crumble topping and rich, buttery taste (which is quite impressive given that it’s vegan). This was my second split shot of the day, following the one I had at Mythical North. The Boxcar blend is a more traditional blend, rich and strong on its own, but still smooth and well-balanced. It went well in milk, the resulting piccolo being creamy and smooth.
Afterwards, I chatted with Alex, the barista, who told me about Firecreek’s plans for the new Phoenix coffee shop/roastery, which Alex will head up as lead roaster. With luck, it will be open by this spring and is firmly on my list for my next visit!
|4602 E THOMAS ROAD • PHOENIX • AZ 85018 • USA|
|https://firecreekcoffee.com||+1 602 607 5581|
|Monday||07:00 – 14:00||Roaster||Firecreek (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 14:00||Seating||Tables, Sofas; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 14:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 14:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 14:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 14:00||Wifi||Free (with login)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 14:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Regional||Visits||14th January 2023|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Phoenix’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix.
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