Firecreek Arcadia

A latte with some tulip latte art, made with the Boxcar blend and served in a classic earthenware cup.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.

  • Walking west along East Thomas Road in Phoenix, you'll come across this iconic building.
  • As you can see from the signs, it's home to Firecreek Coffee, it's first venture in Phoenix.
  • The building is The Marilyn, which looks very modern but which is almost 50 years old.
  • This is the view approaching from the other side of the large, wrap-around car park.
  • Two broad, concrete steps lead to the entrance: The Marilyn main entrance on the right...
  • ... and Firecreek on the left, where you'll find a three-person table next to the door.
  • Before we go in, let's go around to the side of the building, past the Firecreek sign...
  • ... and past the other Firecreek sign...
  • ... until we get to this, the second outdoor seating area. There's also a separate door here.
  • The view coming east along Thomas Road. You can't get in from this end, though.
  • A view of the seating, a row of six four-person tables, shaded by parasols and trees.
  • This is the view from the door to Firecreek. While next to the road, it was quite peaceful.
  • Here's the view from the other end of the seating, with Firecreek off to the left...
  • ... where you'll find yet another door to Firecreek. Three doors is greedy if you ask me...
  • The view from the back, with Firecreek on the right and the rest rooms on the left.
  • Returning to the front of the building, this is the view as you step through the door.
  • There's a three-person table on the right, The Marilyn's  lobby visible through the windows.
  • Perhaps of more interest is this cosy nook to the left of the door.
  • A view back towards the door, with the end of the counter just visible to the right.
  • Turning around, there's more seating, with a padded sofa-bench against the back wall...
  • ... while in front of it and to the right is this neat set of retail shelves.
  • However, there's a lot more to Firecreek, with the main seating area ahead/on the left...
  • ... with the counter at the front, as you can see here in this view back towards the door.
  • This seating area runs down the side of the building all the way to the back, with a row...
  • ... of tables down the middle and another down the right-hand side.
  • The door to the outdoor seating is on the left, followed by these two tables...
  • ... although you can see them (and the door) more clearly in this picture.
  • Right at the back is this two-person sofa, with a coffee table by its side...
  • ... and Firecreek's third door in the corner.
  • There's one final table, a three-person one against the right-hand wall.
  • A view from the back: this is the raised sofa-bench with its alternating 2-/4-person tables.
  • The tables down the middle can be combined into sets of four, like these two...
  • ... or they can be left free-standing, like these, which can still seat four.
  • While we're here, don't forget to look up.
  • The central light/plant display is definitely worth a second look.
  • There's also plenty of artwork on the walls, like this painting.
  • To business. The counter is at the front of the main seating area. You order on the right...
  • ... where you'll also find another retail selection, between the counter and the second door.
  • The menus are on boards, hanging from the ceiling behind the counter.
  • Most of the counter top is taken up with the generous cake display...
  • ... while the La Marzocco FB80 espresso machine and its grinders are to the left.
  • The coffee menu is a mix of mainstream larger drinks and speciality ones.
  • I went for the espresso set, a split shot made with the Boxcar espresso blend...
  • ... and served on a slate with a glass of water (on the left).
  • I paired this with the vegan, gluten-free crumb cake, which was served warm.
  • However, I'll leave you with this latte, which the barista, Alex, made for me.
  • It had some lovely latte art, which lasted...
  • ...  all the way to the bottom of the cup.
Webpage Slideshow by v4.6

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 +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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