You’re not going to stumble upon the original Bisbee Breakfast Club by accident. You have to know where to find it, and longtime Bisbee resident Freena Gray-Davidson knows exactly where to look. That’s fortunate because it’s to mankind’s benefit that she get a good cup of coffee to begin the day.
“Before coffee if you ask me my name, I’m like, ‘I have it here somewhere,’” Gray-Davidson said with a laugh in her soft English accent. “I drink a lot of coffee in the morning. I’m O.K. after that.”
She ordered a cup of Seth’s coffee, which is roasted locally at Old Bisbee Roasters. Owner and local coffee man Seth Appell says he only roasts coffee produced by small farms and co-operatives using sustainable agricultural practices. Gray-Davidson does care about that but she wants her coffee now—and she wants it strong. Seth’s coffee fills the bill.
Once Gray-Davidson has her coffee, she’s ready to order. Today Eggs Popeye, scrambled eggs with diced bacon, spinach, cheddar-jack cheese and cream cheese, sounds good. Toast and home fries on the side.
A second diner at the table ordered D’s Potato Pancakes, a plate of bacon, eggs, toast and a huge, well-cooked, not-raw-inside hash brown. A third ordered just sausage and eggs because he knew there would be leftovers. And there were. About half an hour after the food arrived all the diners were stuffed.
Also on the menu is the usual breakfast fare: pancakes, omelets, huevos rancheros. But look for the specialty items: Blue Granola Cakes, Baked Oatmeal or the Wingdinger (it’s not wings but it will fill you up).
The fare is just perfect, as is the restaurant itself, housed in an old diner and a converted glass factory.
“It’s always very cheerful,” Gray-Davidson said. “The staff are really good. The food is consistently good and they even improve on ‘consistently good.’”
There are three versions of the Club in Tucson … so why go to the original location in Bisbee?
Drive down the hill away from Bisbee’s commercial district, turn right at the old — as in 1930s old — Shell station just past the big hole, swing around the food co-op and you’ll have entered the Twilight Zone. Erie Street appears as if everyone in 1959 just walked away, leaving their storefronts and cars behind.
Everything there is decayed and has weathered with time, but the street is oh-so-fascinating to stroll. There are a couple of businesses open—Bisbee Breakfast Club and Jim’s Harley Shop to name two. The place is not creepy on a sunny Sunday morning, just compelling. And worth the trip. Bring your camera.
Next week: The New Azian Restaurant and a comfortable place to meet for a chat with friends.
Bisbee Breakfast Club
75A Erie Street
Bisbee, AZ 85603