I took it as a sign that the apocalypse might be nigh when Denny’s popped up as a late-night delivery option on Seamless. Sure, you COULD get Moons Over My Hammy delivered at 2:00 a.m., but should you? Clearly the answer is no, but sometimes you’re hungry and it’s late. And that’s where the Grand comes in. Part goth coffee shop, part late-night wi-fi study zone and part Arizona club history museum (of sorts), the Grand manages to blend all fairly seamlessly into an interesting mix of tasty caffeinated possibilities.
The Grand is clearly the product of Steven Rogers, the creator of Amsterdam (the club that once inhabited the Grand’s hallowed grounds), as well as Crowbar, Sanctum and the Works, among others. The Grand manages to integrate elements from each club iteration into one interesting spot. The gorgeous wooden bar from Amsterdam is now the menu reader board, lending heft and artistic credence to the gorgeous, cavernous two-story space. The light fixtures appear to be from Crowbar, and the industrial gear tables now topped with glass were once at the Works.
The Grand has plucked design elements from decades past and merged them in such a way that they seem almost timeless. The gothic influences from the Sanctum’s lit signs now blend perfectly with the haunted holiday motif. I almost feel sorry for folks who will miss the massive Halloween installation, which includes a full-size carriage with skeletal riders and mounts and a spooky, grey-clad demon baby in the front window. Dotted along each industrial steel pillar is a cartoonish skeletal dog, howling at the moon. To be honest, I’m hoping that this isn’t just a Halloween thing, but a Grand thing.
Themed drinks in this 24-hour spot (you read that right, this place is indeed 24/7) include vampiric-themed lattes and “poisoned apple” drinks. Please, Steven, let those stay, too. I loved the Iced Green Tea ($4.25/large), which actually tasted grassy and green like it should and not an overly sweet, inauthentic chain creation. Great Drop Coffee ($3.75) is also excellent.
You’ll order drinks and food at the charming walk-up counter. I’m not sure how the servers managed to find us and our number—this place is enormous. Two capacious stories provide loads of large and small tables, plus plenty of secretive spots for canoodling, as well as a rather large outside patio. On every visit, the place remained spotlessly clean (no small feat for a fast-casual business model and so much room to cover).
In true 24-hour coffeeshop style, we found great wi-fi and plenty of USB charging stations. We also found a great mix of people: dressed-up club kids, students of every stripe, moody goths and loads of hipsters. We especially enjoyed the playlist—slightly emo, with just enough Sisters of Mercy. Not just a coffeeshop, the Grand maintains a full bar (till 2 a.m.) with a great selection. We loved the Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero Stout ($7) and the Sazerac ($9).
I love a good burger, too, and the Grand ($11) didn’t disappoint. Made from short ribs, topped with white chedder, bacon-shallot gastrique and arugula, all loaded into a Noble Bread buttermilk bun. It was extra beefy tasting from the short ribs. Cooked to medium was perfect and didn’t render the bun a squishy, soggy disaster.
The BLAT ($9.50) is a tasty combo of bacon, fried egg, tomato, sunflower sprout and avocado smashed into toasted 21-grain bread. The egg was well cooked and perfectly salted. The avocado lended an avocado-toast air to this extra fancy BLT that I would happily order again.
There are no sides with the sandwiches here, so consider the kicky Kale Caesar ($6.50), a well-made baby kale and romaine creation with pecorino instead of parmesan. I loved the roasted garlic addition, which brought some extra umami to the table.
The Grand loves a good mac & cheese, and we enjoyed the daily special Mac of the Moment ($9), a buffalo-wing mashup with loads of hot sauces, bleu cheese and what appeared to be bacon dust loaded on top (seriously loaded—not a complaint, as it was MAGIC). This is an enormous mac & cheese option you’ll want to share.
We wanted to love the Buffalo Cauliflower bites ($8) and assumed that they were the same tempura-battered cauliflower from the excellent Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich ($9). They were not. Perhaps that would have been okay had they been cooked a tidge longer. The dish is loaded with the same carrot ribbons, buffalo sauce and bleu cheese as the aforementioned sandwich, and we nearly launched a sizable nugget over the students next to us when we attempted to cut into it with a butter knife. Great tasting, but woefully undercooked.
Piping hot, well-seasoned fries ($4.50) are a great choice. Arriving in a large bowl with aioli, they are meant for sharing. As are the avocado fries ($6.50), a plate of deep-fried avocado spears.
You’ll find an array of ever-changing desserts at the counter. We loved the homey, hand-folded danishes ($3); flavors change daily. For me, the berry was best. Who doesn’t love a huge chocolate chip cookie ($2)? Our charming server told us the options change daily, and we noticed some adorable themed creations on our visits. I’m looking forward to how these progress throughout the year.
The Grand is a gorgeous building that is meticulously decorated with enough Phoenix nightlife history to draw you in, and if you aren’t into club history, it just looks damn good. It’s the kind of space that has a sense of presence and history, and feels like it has been here forever, with enough nooks and crannies for even the most anti-social to hide out and not be readily found. With ample wi-fi, charging options, loads of drinks and food, and a 24-hour schedule, the Grand is pretty grand to me.
718 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Open 24 hours