Upon walking into Gideon’s Coffee, Downtown Phoenix’s newest coffee bar located on the corner of Jackson Street and Second Avenue, it doesn’t take long to pick up on a theme.
The logo on the door features a Scales of Justice fashioned out of coffee cups. Upstairs you might overhear a woman speaking legalese on the phone. Even the name, Gideon’s Coffee, is taken from the 1963 landmark Supreme Court case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, which ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys.
“What can I say, I have a passion for coffee and the law,” said David Kephart, sole proprietor of Gideon’s Coffee and a personal injury lawyer who before starting his own practice spent three years with the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. ”This is a great way to combine those passions.”
During the process of getting Gideon’s off the ground, Kephart focused on imitating the finest qualities of his favorite coffee shops.
He chose his roaster (Echo Espresso, which supplies beans to many of the top shops in Central Phoenix and Downtown), his syrups (1883, a French import that Kephart calls the “Cadillac of syrups”), his methodolgy (100 percent French Press) and his go-to barista (Kaylee, pictured, whom Kephart recruited from another shop).
And if the space looks familiar, well, it’s because 209 W. Jackson Street used to be the home of Royal Coffee Bar, now located at the Phoenix Public Market. When he relocated his law office and launched the coffee bar, Kephart says he benefited greatly from the move in-ready quality of the building, having been a coffee bar in its former life.
“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” said Kephart. “I bought my equipment used, added new counters and I was ready to go.”
Gideon’s is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves up a variety of hot and cold French pressed coffee drinks. Gideon’s also makes their own chai, a combination of aromatic spices that galvanize popular chai tea latte drinks.