Lola Coffee midtown location sold; Citizen Espresso Bar opens

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Lola Coffee's Roosevelt Street shop is now its only location, after owner Daniel Wayne sold the midtown location, now called Citizen Espresso Bar. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

A coffee bar intended to provide patrons with a welcoming space is taking over a location at Central and Highland avenues.

The midtown location of Lola Coffee might look the same, but is now called Citizen Espresso Bar. Tiffany Dew purchased the shop from Lola Coffee owner Daniel Wayne on Feb. 1.

“It’s a really hustle and bustle part of Phoenix,” Dew said. “There is a lot more energy uptown.”

Dew is redecorating the space to reflect her style, and has purchased pastry display cases, new furniture and a new espresso machine. The new sign is expected to arrive on Wednesday and will replace the old, partially dismantled one that now bears the single word “coffee.”

Citizen Espresso Bar will still serve Lola coffee, but is now baking its own pastries on location. Pastries start at 75 cents and will soon include gluten-free options. Espresso drink prices have increased by 25 cents.

The hours have also expanded — Citizen Espresso Bar will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.

Dew hopes to host live music in the future. The coffee shop is named “Citizen” because of her desire to create a space where everyone is welcome.

“Everyone here when they walk through the door is a citizen,” she said.

Dew first approached Wayne, the original owner, five months ago about purchasing the space. Wayne said the shop was never on the market, but since the deal was right, he accepted the offer.

“I would never walk away from a project if I didn’t feel good about the person,” Wayne said.

Dew said her close relationship with Wayne helped make the decision an easy process for both of them.

Dew worked for Wayne for seven years and has worked at the Central Avenue location since it opened in 2009. She said she has been interested in opening her own coffee shop for years but was never able to find the right space. The midtown Lola Coffee location seemed to fit her perfectly.

Wayne isn’t neglecting the Roosevelt Street and Third Avenue location. The coffee shop now offers an omelet bar alongside pastries and cakes. Wayne has already seen a great response.

“It was a natural progression of the business. People wanted something more savory,” he said.

The omelet bar is open from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. until noon on weekends. The omelets are priced at $5.50 with additions such as spinach and bacon at $1.00.

Wayne has been in the coffee business for about 20 years and has opened and sold several coffee shops. The Central Avenue location, which had been an “empty shell” without water or electricity outlets, opened in 2009.

“The best part is creating the space,” Wayne said.

Although Wayne is often approached to open coffee shops around the Valley, he has always focused on Phoenix.

“I like the whole Phoenix vibe” he said. “There is a sense of community here.”

Dew is spreading the word about her new business slowly, as she is waiting to finish redecorating the space before holding a grand opening event sometime in March.

“I’ve always wanted to have a little space to bring the community together. I have my Phoenix pride and it’s great to be here,” Dew said.

Contact the reporter at josselyn.berry@asu.edu

Correction: February 18, 2012

An earlier version of the photo caption in this article incorrectly implied that the photo is of Lola Coffee’s old midtown location. The photo is of Lola’s downtown location on Roosevelt Street.

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