I really should keep a more careful eye on the Arizona Coffee blog. It could’ve saved me a trip to Sola yesterday that ended with me looking forlornly into a closed coffeehouse.
Here’s the deal: Sola Coffee Bar (on 5th Avenue in Scottsdale) changed hands and will soon be re-born as a Cartel Coffee Lab, the third of its kind here in the Valley.
In its original incarnation, Sola was an unusual place: Top-flight coffee, to be sure … the surprise was that a local church owned it. But the only outward trace of churchiness was being closed Sundays. Other than that, it’s the usual collection of coffeehouse hipsters and caffeine fiends. The barista crew was extraordinarily friendly. That’s an element that I hope Cartel continues – some people find Cartel’s crews a little too Third Wave Coffee-gung ho.
I predict some good things for the change, though. Sola was already excellent, but I think Cartel owner Jason will push the quality even further.
In other Arizona coffee news …
I’m also waiting impatiently for Black Cat Coffeehouse on 48th Street and Indian School to open. My curiosity is fully engaged – Black Cat will be right near a high school, which could mean it will go the easy route and sling high-sugar coffee-lite icy drinks for the kids rather that the route of a Sola, Cartel or Jobot. But I can’t resist any place with a cat theme, so I’m flying reconnaissance regularly to wait for it to open.