Our Coffee and Beer House is seven years old this year. That Sip Coffee Scottsdale location was our first; a tidy spot that used to be a needlepoint shop. So from the very start of planning we decided to have some fun with it. Our thinking was like, “Hmmm … needlepoint. Hand-made. Do-it-yourself. Homey. Crafts. Start the car.”
We went to yard sales and antique stores to find furniture. We went to craft stores and hardware stores. We built, painted and repurposed all kinds of things. We made or adapted nearly all of the decor. We had a ball decorating our “house.” In fact, that’s why we called it Sip Coffee and Beer House — because with our own hands (mostly) we made it a place that just kinda feels like home.
Well, it is home to us, most days. But our customers feel at home there, too. In fact, we love it that people seem to feel at home not long after they walk in for the first time. Even Phoenix New Times said so in their review the very first week we were open.
“As of last week downtown Scottsdale has a stylish, new hangout for coffee and craft beer fans,” they wrote, “a sunny open hangout with hand-picked accent items like ornate chalkboards, a vintage car door and large floral arrangements. Customers will be able to enjoy cozy sitting areas with sitting chairs or a long bar with windows that overlook Scottsdale Road.”
The Arizona Republic’s write-up talked about our “back-porch feel”… we agree … and “the mishmash of décor … mostly cherry-picked from antique stores and yard sales” … guilty. That all sounds like home to us. And that’s exactly what we were going for.
The AZRep went on to note that “Sip has garnered a following, accolades and nods in various national and local publications.” That’s true, too. And most of the string of awards we’ve received since 2014 have been for Sip Scottsdale — the Coffee and Beer House. But in our mobile, always-on-the-go society …
A house should have a garage
And our house has one, too.
We’re not gonna spend a bunch of time talking about Sip Arcadia here. We wrote about it before (see “What does Paradise look like?”), and anyway this post is about Sip Coffee Scottsdale. So, just as there is a Sip Coffee and Beer House, there is a Sip Coffee and Beer Garage. Of course, it’s in Arcadia, so it’s kind of a detached garage — by about five miles. Still, if you want to spend an evening doing a Sip Crawl sometime, we recommend a Monday. Start in the Garage (open till 8) and end it at the House (open till 11). We’re up for that!
But right now we’re talking about the original recipe; the one people first started to notice: the House.
Some of the people who noticed are at Thrillist. We’ve gotten two awards from them. In 2015 they named us one of the Best Bars in Scottsdale, and a year later we were one of their Best Coffee Shops in Phoenix. Here’s what they say about our House:
“Exposed cinder walls and beam ceilings never felt so cozy. This Old Town Scottsdale spot is furnished with vintage mismatched furniture identical to the stuff in your Grandma’s storage unit, and it features a super-chill vibe typically reserved for the Downtown Phoenix or Tempe area.”
Yeah, Thrillist gets us.
Newsweek does, too. One of the coolest awards for our Sip Scottsdale location — and one of the biggest surprises — was their Jan. 27, 2015, feature: “Ultimate Super Bowl XLIX Travel Guide.” They listed their recommendations of the Phoenix area’s top attractions, from the entire town of Carefree to the now-just-a-memory Tent City jail downtown. (The latter was number 47 on the list, and was more of a warning to visitors about overdoing the celebrations while they’re in town.) There was a good selection of drinking and dining establishments of all kinds. But on this list of nearly 50 “things for visitors to do in the Valley of the Sun,” number 7 was our House: “Sip Coffee and Beer House, Scottsdale.”
“No need to overthink this one,” they wrote. “The name says it all. Go from caffeinated to inebriated (or vice versa) at this Old Town Scottsdale spot whose decor looks like an independent filmmaker’s celluloid dream.” That last line linked to a really nice picture of the House. We’re particularly glad they made sure to catch the sign from the original place — “Needlepoint” — that runs across the ceiling above one of the sofas.
So … Sip Scottsdale or Sip Arcadia?
Like Billy Joel sang (still sings, in fact): “A bottle of red, a bottle of white; It all depends upon your appetite. I’ll meet you anytime you want in either of our two Sip locations.” (OK, that last part was us. No offense, Billy.) They really are two places, as different as cabernet and chardonnay. Different hours, different menus, different vibes.
But it’s all one Sip; like a house with a detached garage. They’re separate, but they belong together. Each one does exactly what you need it for at the time. You can’t be in one at the same time you’re in the other.
But whichever one you’re ready for, it’s ready for you, too.