REALNEO... powered by Phoenix

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 12:28.

Laura Paglin and friends at Phoenix Coffee Lee Cleveland Heights

I am fortunate that there are two Phoenix Coffee houses near my home in East Cleveland - my favorite, on Lee Road (pictured in this header... large image here) and the newest on Coventry, where the very lame Caribou Coffee had been. Near the Lee Phoenix was once a Starbucks, but it was forced out of business by good neighbors who care about both quality products and supporting local interests.

I like the Phoenix on Lee for the great people who work there, pleasant surroundings, easy parking and who I run into there... always full of friends... but then I love many other great local coffee joints! What is your favorite NEO coffeehouse and why?

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AJ Rocco's

I'd have to claim AJ Rocco's as historically, my fave coffeshop - it happens to double as a bar as well.  The establishment was a favorite REALNEO joint while we were headquartered in the Caxton Building and  features many of the components that make for a great place to hang - friendly, socially conscious staff, great food, comprehensive selection of gourmet coffees from around the world, and live entertainment by local favorites like reggae master Carlos Jones and staff member/folk artist Charlie Mosbrook.


The location has historically been the site for the annual St. Baldrick's event where charitable participants (like Norm and I here) shave their heads to help end childhood Cancer, as well as a number of other charitable events.  This establishment also pioneered the smoke-free trend in Cleveland.


Now that I've moved to University Circle I'll probably frequent Arabica on Juniper and Algebra Tea House on Murray Hill Road.  Both of these locations, as well as AJ Rocco's - feature free WI-FI access - a welcome bonus that enables all three stops to be cozy 'third office' locations.

Arabica on Juniper and Algebra Tea House on Murray Hill Road

Glad you mentioned AJs and Arabica on Juniper and Algebra Tea House on Murray Hill Road - all core to realneo.

Where else?

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Bonus question for free coffee

Okay... I'll treat for a coffee at Phoenix on Lee to the first person who posts what was the name of the coffee house at that location before Phoenix, which was very cool as well....?

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never been, but believe it was:

"Miklos (aka Mickey's) Coffee Bar"...

What was it like?

A lot like Phoenix

You are correct! And it was a cool place (anyone know what happened to it and the owners?). The lay out was different but they had a nice look and feel and very good coffee.

So, I owe you a coffee... let's get together when you have a chance...

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cleveland indie coffee shops

This topic always makes for a fun thread.  Who doesn't want/like/need/enjoy a good cup of coffee?

Living in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, Gypsy Beans is 5 blocks away and offers well made coffee drinks and very good food as well as a friendly staff.  I'm there quite often!

However, since we've made the move further west to Detroit Shoreway, Lakewood is that much closer.  Bela Dubby is a great little cafe on Madison that follows a model similar to AJ Roccos by using their counter to sling both caffeinated (coffee&tea) and alcholic (beer) beverages.  Bela Dubby features Brooklyn IPA on tap and a nice selection of microbrews in bottles as well as an ever changing selection of amazing art on the walls, live music & comedy, and pizza bagels from the west side market!!  I've you've never been, I'd highly recommend it next time you're on the west side.

My contacts further west tell me that a great community gathering spot has opened in the Huntington MetroParks reservation in an old railroad depot.  It's called the Coffee Station.

The Cleveland site recently asked the first same question that Norm posed:
Editor's Faves:
Readers Faves:

Still, only one place offers the unique combination of a freshly poured Guiness draft topped-off with a freshly brewed shot of espresso! mmmmmmm...............


Public input from 360 degrees  is one of the spectacular advantages of the net. 


Through first hand input from all the points of the compass the civic space is intelligently and honestly formed.


pastries back in the day

Back in the day when I worked at the Stone Oven, John would come in and help us unload the day old pastries. That's a smart idea, because we needed to move them and they were just a good as today's (depending on what it was of course). I think John was the first person who mentioned the speedball to me (available at Phoenix a couple of doors up on Lee).


It's funny being out from behind the counter. I sort of remember what people's cafe habits were, like bartenders remember what scotch you drink, or if it's rum. Many people have met me in another setting and have that funny look like they know me from somewhere, but aren't sure where. And then there are the fun moments when classism is apparent, like in higher caste settings when someone is surely thinking, "that's my coffee bitch from CedarLee... what's SHE doin' here?" I love those :)  There's a woman who always treated me like a servant when I worked at the old SOB, and for several weeks when I was in the Caxton Building and patronizing AJ Rocco's she would pass through (she must work in the building) and give me looks that ranged from, "don't I know you?" to "you're on THIS SIDE of the counter?!" to what in the world could that counter help need down here in "professional land?" Funny, but in all the years that I wiped up after her kids or made it just the way she liked it every freakin' morning, she never has had the common courtesy to introduce herself or offer more words than the items in her order. There were many many pleasant customers at Stone Oven though to make up for the "superior to you" ones.


Be nice to your server; they probably put their pants on just like you do – one leg at a time.  And turn off your cell phone or don’t answer it when you’re being served. Your server will appreciate it.

2nd on Gypsie Beans + Talkies + Civilization

Love Gypsy Beans and owner Niki Gillota... best quality baked goods, fantastic gourmet sandwiches and other fine foods... if they have the spicy brownies they are amazing.
Three other important coffee houses to mention are Talkies, by the West Side Market - great location, people and setting - Civilization, in Tremont - on beautiful Lincoln Park, featuring my favorite Mocha in town (Mexican cocao) - and Luckys, also in Tremont, with heart warming space inside and out, anchoring a transitioning neighborhood.
Props to all the purveyors and coffee slingers in all of these joints... the more the merrier!
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Java investors

Look no further than Brooklyn Centre.  We have a fledgling cheescake industry on its way-(there are a number of cheesecake and coffee addicts living here, in denial). " target="_self">Check out this location around 3774 Pearl Rd.-


This old flowershop would make an ideal coffee shop..I'm in...anyone else?