Squash Blossom: “great food, great coffee, great atmosphere”

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  Since my roommate and I have completely opposite schedules, we rarely have the opportunity to spend time with each other during the week. As a result, we often plan to go out to lunch together at the beginning of the week just to catch up with one another and take a break from our busy lives. We love trying out different hole-in-the-wall places around downtown Phoenix, but the cafe we usually go to has become our absolute favorite.  

Located in McKinley Lot, just two blocks North of Taylor Place (our dorm), Squash Blossom lies in the heart of downtown Phoenix. It’s by far the best breakfast and lunch cafe I’ve been to around here. Although it just opened a few months ago, in the summer of 2012, it is continuously attracting new customers.

One of the things my roommate and I have noticed since we’ve been going there practically every week for the last month or so is that there’s always different types of people there. Squash Blossom is definitely living up to its goal which is to “bring the people of downtown Phoenix and the surrounding metro areas together,” according to their website squashblossomaz.com. Whenever we’re there, we’ll see other ASU students like ourselves taking advantage of the free WiFi and 10 percent discount. However, there’s often a variety of other customers, such as businessmen in suits, old ladies in cat sweaters and, of course, the stylish hipsters who would probably hate for the cafe to become too popular.

Not only are there interesting people, but the art on the walls and the holiday menus also make every trip to Squash Blossom quite an experience. There’s regularly new paintings or photographs to be seen, and I try a new sandwich or coffee almost every time I’m there. I haven’t been disappointed yet because it’s all so fresh and delicious! Plus, an impeccable music selection accompanies everything else that’s amazing about this cafe.

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Squash Blossom’s veggie-lovers sandwich & coconut almond latte from the holiday menu.

Learn more about Squash Blossom by watching this video featuring my lovely roommate:

Local coffee shop links students to art, especially on First Fridays.

Jobot Coffee Shop on September’s First Friday.

A coffee bar that was previously found in Conspire Cafe and Boutique, is now at its own location and thriving off the business of college students. Located on 5th street, Jobot offers downtown Phoenix a coffeehouse with a creative edge, blending together art and coffee.

“We’re not your average cafe,” Jobot barista Robert Zunigha stated. “We offer the kind of environment that attracts college kids.”

If you’ve never been there, you might be asking yourself, What sort of environment is he talking about? An “ambiance made up of a mixture of art, music and awesome coffee and crepes” of course. The fact that they offer free wi-fi and are open until midnight every day of the week adds to the appeal, according to Zunigha, who has been employed there for a few months now.

Lily Reynolds, an ASU student, first heard about Jobot when she was a freshman living at the downtown campus.

“We had no idea what to do down here and heard some other kids talking about an edgy coffee shop that’s open late on the weekends,” she said. “So we decided to check it out.”

Reynolds also pointed out that Jobot isn’t your “run-of-the-mill coffee bar” by any means. “Everyone I know who goes there for the first time either loves it or hates it.”

The bookshelf of weird doll figures and art hanging on the wall, the mismatched doors and seats, and the loud music are enough to scare customers away or give them a coffee shop experience unlike any other.

“It’s difficult to find things to do here because some of the best places to hangout downtown are hidden treasures, like Jobot,” Reynolds explained. “But it’s a great place to chill with friends after a night out or somewhere to go other than your dorm when you need to stay up late to write a paper.”

Jobot is especially packed on First Friday, which is an art walk held on the first Friday of every month.

“First Fridays are our most busy days from what I’ve encountered working here so far,” Zunigha said. “I still see a lot of students which doesn’t surprise me. The creative environment we’re known for goes hand in hand with the art walk.”

Zunigha previously worked at various art galleries around the area, so he’s experienced the First Friday crowds for years now.

“Working those shifts is so different now than when I was first hired in the downtown area,” he stated. “It just exploded about 3 or 4 years ago and I’m sure ASU’s downtown campus had a lot to do with that.”

Ditching their laptops and textbooks, students can be seen with groups of friends in a line out the door on these Friday nights.

“[Jobot] has a completely different vibe on First Fridays,” Reynolds explained. “It goes from being cool and calm to a crazy and crowded lounge environment, with giant speakers blasting music and a quirky cluster of other First Friday goers.”

Students who appreciate the art of the coffee shop or just crave a cup of Cartel Coffee Lab roast continue to expand its business.

“I think it’s great that Jobot connects people to art in such an interesting way,” Reynolds added. “And I love their iced mocha. It’s the only place I’ll ever order that!”

For Jobot’s full menu and contact information, click here: http://jobot-coffee.com/