Bathtub Coffee

Southern
Bathtub Coffee is located at 31 Subway Street in Bisbee. For more information, call 520-276-4955 or visit projectbathtub.com.
By Ameema Ahmed | Photograph by Steven Meckler

You might not walk into Bathtub Coffee expecting an actual bathtub, but that’s what you’ll find: a porcelain tub, right at the front of the coffee shop. Owner Morgan Oxley says he stumbled on the namesake for his business while walking around Bisbee. “I looked at it and thought maybe people would take pictures with it if we had it in the window,” Oxley says. “And I thought we would call it Bathtub Coffee.”

The bathtub has become a conversation piece. It’s set up next to a mirror with the words “Tub Shots,” encouraging people to be whimsical. “We actually have a lot of people come in and sit in the bathtub and take pictures,” Oxley says. “Some people come and work in it.”

Oxley, who’s originally from Anchorage, Alaska, didn’t expect to end up in Bisbee, let alone stay and open a business there. He’s a frequent traveler, but he says he’s never experienced another place like the historic mining town. “You feel alive here,” he says. “There’s a lot of authenticity. There’s a lot of people creating stuff here.”

That creativity is part of the motivation behind Bathtub Coffee. It serves not only as a place to grab a drink and a bite to eat, but also as an opportunity for local artists to collaborate. “Everyone who works here is a working artist,” Oxley explains. “We are really trying to help cultivate community and art here in Bisbee.” 

The shop displays artwork from local creators and helps them sell their work. Oxley is also building a program to develop more art-based businesses in the community and help artists thrive in Bisbee. “Magical stuff happens here daily,” he says. “It’s nice to have a place where we are getting to interact with the community on a daily basis.”

Oxley says Bathtub strives to provide an environment that’s more playful and relaxed than you’d find in other coffee shops. “We really work with staff to try to get rid of ‘customer service face’ so they can have authentic interactions with people,” he says.

And, of course, there are Bathtub’s signature menu items, which you can enjoy while taking in the atmosphere and artwork. They include the massive Anytime Burrito, with eggs, cheese, rice, beans, onions and cilantro lime sauce, plus a half-dozen optional ingredients. Or you can settle down in the bathtub and sip on a Douglas Smelter, the shop’s version of a dirty chai.

The tub, the atmosphere and the menu all serve Oxley’s main goal: “I would hope people can feel better when they leave than when they get here.”

Bathtub Coffee is located at 31 Subway Street in Bisbee. For more information, call 520-276-4955 or visit projectbathtub.com.