Kähvi means “coffee” in Finnish, and Finland is the biggest per-capita consumer of coffee in the world, says Julian Wright, founder of the restaurant group Fork & Dagger Hospitality.
That was part of the inspiration for Kähvi Coffee + Café, which opened inside the stylish monOrchid building on Roosevelt Row in mid-July. But Wright also has a thing for Mexico — Tulum specifically.
“When I think of the ultimate getaway, my mind instantly goes to the laid-back beaches of Tulum,” Wright says.
At Kähvi — Wright’s second downtown Phoenix spot, following the opening of Luckys Indoor Outdoor in December 2020 — he’s fusing the aesthetics of those two faraway places. Tulum-inspired design elements mingle with Scandinavian touches to create what Wright calls “the perfect retreat in the heart of downtown Phoenix.”
Inside, the 2,000-square-foot boutique café has vaulted ceilings, lots of exposed wood, industrial metal accents, and minimalistic European furniture. A large, curved wall plays video clips of inspiring hikes and underwater life while soothing modern music fills the space. It’s softly lit, chic but carefree — a max-chill hideaway for savoring a premium cup of coffee or a light bite.
The menu at Kähvi includes a variety of signature coffee drinks, beer, wine, and kombucha. Coffeewise, choose from a handful of hot and cold daily brews in 12-, 16- and 24-ounce sizes; brews include roasts from Ethiopia and Central America, with organic Uganda Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew on tap. Beer from Pedal Haus (which Wright also owns) is available, as are sparkling, white, and red wines, offered by the glass or bottle.
Lunch items include salads, sandwiches with a French flair like the Croque Kähvi, and fresh-baked pastries from local bakery Hope’s Artisan Bread.
Operating partner Samia Kohler, a 12-year food, beverage and events manager, will oversee day-to-day operations at Kähvi. She says she originally approached Wright to run his soon-to-open Sake Haus sushi restaurant, but quickly fell in love with the idea of Kähvi. Originally from France, Kohler says Kähvi will embrace the traditional French meaning of the word “café.”
“In France, you can spend all day at a café,” she says. “Maybe you have a croissant and coffee to start the day, then later you have lunch, and a bit after that you have wine or maybe cheese or meat.”
Kähvi will expand its menu later this month, adding additional breakfast items like avocado toast, along with bruschetta and cheese bowls.
“We’re easing into food,” Wright says.
Wright is a 20-year restaurant veteran and a fixture of the Phoenix restaurant scene. Later this year, he plans to launch additional concepts in Roosevelt Row, including Sake Haus and a third location of Pedal Haus Brewery.
Kähvi Coffee + Café
214 E. Roosevelt Street
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday.