Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix Warehouse District’

Gideon’s Coffee

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Upon walking into Gideon’s Coffee, Downtown Phoenix’s newest coffee bar located on the corner of Jackson Street and Second Avenue, it doesn’t take long to pick up on a theme.

Gidieon'sThe logo on the door features a Scales of Justice fashioned out of coffee cups. Upstairs you might overhear a woman speaking legalese on the phone. Even the name, Gideon’s Coffee, is taken from the 1963 landmark Supreme Court case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, which ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys.

“What can I say, I have a passion for coffee and the law,” said David Kephart, sole proprietor of Gideon’s Coffee and a personal injury lawyer who before starting his own practice spent three years with the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. ”This is a great way to combine those passions.” 

During the process of getting Gideon’s off the ground, Kephart focused on imitating the finest qualities of his favorite coffee shops.

Gideon's_KayleeHe chose his roaster (Echo Espresso, which supplies beans to many of the top shops in Central Phoenix and Downtown), his syrups (1883, a French import that Kephart calls the “Cadillac of syrups”), his methodolgy (100 percent French Press) and his go-to barista (Kaylee, pictured, whom Kephart recruited from another shop).

And if the space looks familiar, well, it’s because 209 W. Jackson Street used to be the home of Royal Coffee Bar, now located at the Phoenix Public Market. When he relocated his law office and launched the coffee bar, Kephart says he benefited greatly from the move in-ready quality of the building, having been a coffee bar in its former life.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” said Kephart. “I bought my equipment used, added new counters and I was ready to go.”

Gideon’s is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves up a variety of hot and cold French pressed coffee drinks. Gideon’s also makes their own chai, a combination of aromatic spices that galvanize popular chai tea latte drinks.

Walk for Urbanism in the Warehouse District

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I say often that Phoenix should have listened to Jane Jacobs (and that is my firm conviction) but how can the city listen to her, if they don’t know who she is?

jane-jacobsJane Jacobs was an activist (most famous for taking on and defeating the City of Manhattan and the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway) and urbanist who championed dense, walkable cities over car-centered and car-dependent cities.

She articulated the ideas and the elements that must be integrated to build great cities, such as identity, a sense of place, civic pride, connection to heritage and history, and pedestrian friendly streets with healthy and defined neighborhoods.

Most people who have grown up in Valley don’t quite understand the concept of a neighborhood. With few exceptions we don’t have a strong sense of neighborhoods and we lack that sense of community and belonging that other cities have. That’s not to say “community” doesn’t exist in Phoenix, it does, but on a much smaller scale.

If you don’t believe we have community, please come out to the 2010 Jane’s Walk on May 1st in the Warehouse District. Get out of the car and walk on the city streets because you’ll be amazed and pleasantly surprised. Come learn about the beautiful and historic warehouses and the ways that they have been adapted for reuse. Jane Jacobs is known for saying that “new ideas require old buildings” and there are many in the Warehouse District.  Come celebrate local Phoenix history and learn about the things we have in our city that we can be proud of. And it’s a free event!

“No one can find what will work for our cities by
looking at suburban garden cities, manipulating
scale models, or inventing dream cities.
You’ve got to get out and walk.”

- Jane Jacobs