09/292011

Lux Central Serves up a Side of Community Along with Coffee

By: Taz Loomans

One of the best things about living in Central Phoenix is that it feels like a small town, even though the actual city of Phoenix is reportedly the 6th largest in the country. The reason it feels like a small town is because you tend to run into people you know when you’re out and about. One of the places this happens all the time is Lux Central.

Lux Central is the latest iteration of a wildly popular coffee shop in Central Phoenix that has been a hub for locals, creatives, and those who seek good coffee and people to commune with. Recently Lux moved from a tiny cramped space on Central and Turney into a much larger one, well, right next door on Central and Turney.

Because it had become such a beloved watering hole for the community, lots of people (including yours truly) were nervous about what was going to happen to their home away from home. But alas, our fears were unfounded. The new Lux, or Lux Central, turned out to be just a roomier place to run into and chat with the people we know and love.

Just like always, Lux Central isn’t afraid of people hanging out for a while. It’s not one of those places that wants quick turnover to ensure more money in the coffers. It’s actually designed in a way where people can get comfortable and stay as long as they want. It is designed as, essentially, a conglomeration of different styles of living rooms for the community to enjoy.

But you don’t necessarily have to stay for an entire morning if you don’t wish. It’s just as comfortable a place to have a quick meeting, stop in for a tasty treat, or just grab a coffee to go on the way to work. These different paces and uses attract all sorts of people in all sorts of different situations, moods, and circumstances. The added wine bar at Lux Central offers yet another option to the smorgasbord of ways to chill and enjoy time with your friends.

This mix sets up the perfect storm for chance encounters. I can’t tell you how many times, almost every day, that I run into people I know at Lux Central. And these aren’t the same people every time. I run into so many different people from different parts of my life there. I think this is because people from all walks of life are attracted to the community spirit that Lux has to offer. People are attracted to community, to the idea of going somewhere where they will know others, where the staff knows your name (just like in Cheers), and where they are welcome to spend as little or as long a time as they want.

Fortunately, Lux Central isn’t the only spot in town that offers up community at its best. There are other coffee shops, bars and markets cropping up in neighborhoods all over the Valley with the same qualities. It’s community hot spots like these that infuse Phoenix with life, love and laughter amidst the pervasive isolation caused by sprawl and a car-centric culture that has plagued the Valley for so long.

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