Third Place Cup is the newest hot spot for music, coffee, arts and community service in Queen Creek.
A Northern Irish Coffee shop facilitated by Vineyard Community Center of Arizona, Third Place Cup opened in April. It’s one part of many services that focuses on bringing the community together with events that showcase local talent. The shop is also active with Northern Ireland exchange students and service-oriented global projects and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The name “Third Place Cup” was chosen for the shop because of what American sociologist Ray Oldenburg wrote about “third places” in modern suburban societies: “While the first (home) and second places (work) people spend their lives are isolated, the third places are the coffee shops, pubs and bookstores which are the neutral public spaces for community to connect and establish bonds. They are the core of the community’s social vitality and foundation of a functioning democracy.”
Third Place Cup is a comfortable, neutral gathering place where you can relax, enjoy the company of friends, mingle with neighbors and have that third cup of coffee, tea, or icy, refreshing Irish water. The refreshments and company are free but they will accept donations which will go towards their service projects to Northern Ireland or to benefit the food pantry they operate.
A happy couple I met there said, “We were really surprised to find an Irish coffee shop in Queen Creek. We came in and the ambiance was totally relaxing. It is a great place to meet friends, listen to music and enjoy our beautiful Arizona evenings.”
So far, the coffee shop has held several successful Open Mic nights on Fridays, and Saturdays are reserved for performing groups.
The coffee shop will also play an integral role in the 2nd Annual Queen Creek Arts Festival hosted by the Vineyard Community Center. This year’s festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
Third Place Cup is located at 21805 S. Ellsworth Road in the Queen Creek Village Shopping Center. Hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
According to Ben Cloud, one of the main organizers, the new community gathering place is completely run by dedicated volunteers.
“We plan on continuing the service and are looking forward to many other musicians joining us,” he said. “Hopefully, word will continue to reach the community and more people will choose us as another venue for music, poetry, art and gathering with friends.”
For more information on performing at the Coffee Shop, contact Rose Strehle at or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridgette Crosby is a writer who lives in and loves the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Reach her at email@example.com.