Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

January 14, 2013

BUSINESS: PhoenixSquare Deli & Coffee Shop brings art culture, caffeine, delicacies and groovy music to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE — Prospective customers of the newly-opened PhoenixSquare Deli & Coffee Shop should expect to find an inviting and eclectic mix of hot coffee, delicious food, local music, WiFi and interesting people  —  not to mention a window into Jacksonville's fantastic arts community.

"We are located at the corner of 'Fabulous!' and 'Yum!'' PhoenixSquare Chef Liz Staples enthused.

The shop, which opened its doors last month, is located at 201 East Commerce, on the corner of Main and Commerce in downtown directly across from Austin Bank.

It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. However, during the later three days of the week, PhoenixSquare officials reserve the right to stay open as late as 11 p.m., depending on the crowd and the music.

Staff members say they want customers to feel free to visit the facility as a hangout, much in the same way they would a Starbucks. Patrons are welcome to sit at a table or bench, connect their laptops to the Internet, chill out, and take advantage of the delicious hot espresso and coffee drinks and daily food specials. The average price range at the cash-only business runs about $10.

Or, to put it in the posted words of the staff, "the coffee and the wifi are ON."

There you'll find barista Danielle Cooley, 24. She has only been on the job about a week, but is working diligently to develop her "foam art" to put an even-yummier face on the already-delicious cappuccino drinks. Veteran barista (and sister) Dava Ainsworth, 20, serves up the signature  "Caffeine Overload" cupcakes, an empowering combination of caffeine and sugar goodness.

The menu crackles with a variety of coffee drinks dusk as Cafe Americano, Flavored Latte', Cappuccino, FlipSwitch (12 ounces of coffee, one shot of espresso), Hot Shot Cocoa (hot chocolate, one shot of espresso, and whip cream), regular coffee, hot chocolate , tea, and soda. Depending on what you drink, the drink prices range from $2 to $3.50.

Chef Staples has woven a culinary web of deli sandwich delights all her own, including cajun turkey, smoked ham,  smoked turkey, and a variety of cheeses and breads. For $5.50 customers can build their own sandwich.

There also will be extraordinary meal specials, such as Staples' pork loin barbecue sliders and house award winning chili with cornbread.

And lest you think sandwiches will be made without Jacksonville's signature tomatoes, have no fear. Only homegrown, local produce will make its way into each meal, the chef boasts.

Staples said PhoenixSquare is more than just a venue for art, music and coffee. She said it also is a haven for learning: She invites new, young chefs to come and watch — and possibly participate in — the process.

Of the five partners behind the creation of the business, Deon Williams of Troup and Mike Withrow and Dave Cooley (father of the aforementioned two baristas) of Jacksonville were on hand Tuesday to discuss the general thrust of  the business.

Withrow and Cooley comprise the house band, Withrow Cooley, which is a central part of the store's musical flow.  Ultimately, the goal is to have music Monday through Saturday, officials said.

Visiting musicians represent a "cross-section of musical genres and styles," according to posts on PhoenixSquare's Facebook page. About 30 musicians have already made their way through the establishment, Withrow and Cooley said.

Open Mic Night for musicians, by the way, starts at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Also, PhoenixSquare's art gallery, boasts over 400 square feet of display space dedicated to promoting local and regional cultural arts. This includes paintings, sculpture and other intellectual arts.

Tracy Williams (Deon Williams' wife), manages the art gallery portion of the store.

The art of Leigha M. Sherman of Maydelle is among those spotlighted. There is a "meet the artist" event planned for 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at the shop. Visit her website at http://releasearts.artistwebsites.com.

"The Arts! Our guests are soaking it up," reads another Facebook post.

Ultimately, owners expect to  bring in multiple revenue streams because PhoenixSquare caters to multiple interests, Deon Williams said.

One of those diversities is the ability to be hired for private parties — possibly even weddings.

"Don't limit us!" Cooley said with a smile.

Text Only
Local News
  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tina_Baggett.tif Gallatin resident seeks help with expenses after diagnosis

    A Gallatin woman and longtime employee at Prosperity Bank is about to undergo the first stage of procedures for stem cell harvesting.
    Tina Baggett, 51, became unable to work in February due to complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014