It’s a long way from Scandinavia to the Yucatán, and yet inspiration from both regions can be found at a new shop in Phoenix, Arizona, called Kähvi Coffee + Cafe.
Opening this week in the MonOrchid building in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District, the Kähvi shop welcomes guests into an environment intended to combine the tropical spirit of Tulum, Mexico, with the serenity and swiftness of Scandinavian design.
“Sometimes I find coffee shops can be a little too minimalist, and too stark,” Kähvi Coffee Founder and CEO Julian Wright told Daily Coffee News. “I think our decor is the perfect balance of minimalist but kind of vibey. Kähvi just feels real comfortable when you’re in there.”
Colorful tiles brighten the front of the natural wood bar, while sleek emerald green tile shines from the wall behind baristas serving guests under modern pendant globe lighting. Meanwhile the warmth from wicker pendant lights also glints off the lush foliage of more than 60 potted and hanging plants around the space where furniture alternates from wicker to modern in different areas.
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The 2,000-square-foot coffee bar and café is the latest ribbon to be cut by Wright, who is also founder and CEO of Fork & Dagger Hospitality, which owns numerous local food and beverage concepts.
French native Samia Kohler brings European sensibility and decade-plus of experience in the F&B industry to the organization as operating partner for the Kähvi concept.
“[Kohler] inherited the decisions that I’d made rather blindly to get us going,” said Wright. “Over time, I really see her taking over the whole program, including coffee bean selection and that sort of thing.”
Kähvi’s coffee program currently depends on beans and blends provided by Phoenix-based Cult Artisan Beverage Company, including a light-roasted Ethiopian bean for drip coffee and a single-origin coffee from Honduras for espresso.
The Kähvi coffee bar currently opens to an art gallery, where Wright can envision some future programming symmetry. Also joining Kähvi in the 14,000-square-foot renovated warehouse building later this summer will be two more Fork & Dagger brands, Sake Haus and the third location of Pedal Haus Brewery. In December of last year, Fork & Dagger also opened a downtown Phoenix bar called Luckys Indoor Outdoor.
Though Fork & Dagger also saw multiple establishments under its hospitality umbrella close permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wright said he believes the sector is poised for a roaring comeback.
“The pent-up demand to dine out, socialize, watch a sporting event, see live music — that has rebounded and driven higher sales than we ever imagined for 2021,” Wright said. “At this point we’re up significantly not just over 2020 but over 2019.”