Find house-made breads, vegan and gluten-free options, and charm at Bentley's.
Thirty-five years ago, Jo Schneider and Willow Bentley decided to open a restaurant.
They soon discovered that banks were reluctant to give business loans to such a high-risk venture and decided instead to open something more reliable — a coffee shop.
Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea was born and has been serving quality drinks and food ever since.
“Smile, have fun, be nice.”
Eli Schneider, Jo’s son, grew up in Bentley’s. In 2013, he became the owner and was determined to keep Bentley’s welcoming and eccentric vibe alive.
When you visit, you’ll find the coffee house’s wide, sunny windows and airy space are perfect for long afternoons working or studying. The relaxed, homey feel is further accentuated by the friendliness of the staff.
Eli emphasizes to his staff that customer service is key; “Smile, have fun, be nice,” Eli said. “It’s incredible the difference it makes.”
In 2015, the kitchen at Bentley’s expanded. What was once a pair of propane burners became a true restaurant setup, affording Bentley’s the opportunity to concentrate on house-made options.
Resident baker Nick Carson bakes nearly all of the bread — from the sourdough, wheat, and raisin bread to the English muffins.
His hamburger buns are used to showcase a scratch-made veggie burger patty.
Other can’t-miss options include their hummus and tabbouleh, each served with warm pita.
Bentley’s draws a crowd
Many of the customers that frequent Bentley’s are graduate students and U of A faculty looking for a caffeine hit (and they are never disappointed).
Bentley’s Espresso Shake — cold, creamy, and perfect for that study session pick me up — pairs perfectly with any item on the menu (especially the Chai Cupcake and pumpkin bread). Their Hibiscus Lemonade is rich in color, highlighting one of the best flavors found in our region.
The breakfast menu has a variety of options, including vegan and vegetarian meals, and is served all day. Popular items include the Willow Scramble, featuring two eggs or tofu with green corn tamales, and the Breakfast Burrito — completely customizable to your eating preferences.
The Schneider family influence
The Schneider family has been incredibly influential on Tucson’s restaurant scene.
Jo Schneider has gone on to run La Cocina and Eli’s brother, Ben owns Tallboys.
As owner of the business where it all began, Eli has a deep loyalty and gratitude towards Bentley’s. He has worked hard to make Bentley’s a place that helps support and grow the community; every month, a new local artist is featured, turning the walls into a colorful gallery.
Employee input is highly valued and moments of joy are prioritized as the staff builds relationships with the customers.
“This is what I love every day,” Eli said. “Bentley’s is love.”
Bentley’s is open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekends.
Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea is located at 1730 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, visit bentleyscoffeehouse.com.