Sally Kane of The Coronet

The Coronet Cafe – A Destination

November 4, 2023
a person posing for the camera
By Sally Kane
By Sally Kane

For this new series, we call Blowing Their Own Horns (working title), we asked restaurant owners to write about their places – in their own voices. We’re honored to feature Sally Kane of The Coronet for our first piece. Enjoy. Shane Reiser, CEO, Tucson Foodie.


I don’t know if it was my mother or my psychiatrist who asked me why I always took the hardest path. I do know it was my mother who told me it is as easy to marry rich as it is poor, a statement that still confuses me. As a rule, I become obsessed with whatever my particular desire is at any particular time and then become completely dogged about it. I felt that way from the very first time I entered the Cushing Street Bar & Grill. That first visit, right before the new century, left me with an aching desire to infuse the property with love and open up all of its doors and hidden rooms for our community.

It has been a road that was mostly cobbled and boulder-strewn. From that original burn to renting the property, to building a restaurant and a cafe. Then the pandemic came and with it a total rethinking of how the property could or should be. We ultimately turned our private dining room (COVID verboten) into a cozy craft cocktail bar with ample outdoor seating.

Most recently we realized the need for our more casual counter service cafe to be available not just for breakfast and lunch but also for dinner. We saw more and more folks loving the beautiful but casual vibe of our patios and Booth Rooms. Hanging out for hours, playing games like chess or cribbage, or just spending time with friends without the formality of our more fine dining restaurant.

We are excited to announce that our counter service Coronet Cafe will be resuming a seven-days-a-week schedule for breakfast and lunch starting the week of November 6th! We are currently also open Thursday – Monday nights for dinner service and there is late-night food until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. 

We believe one shouldn’t have to wonder whether a neighborhood joint is open or not. Our ability to finally reopen seven days a week is in no small part due to our new daytime cafe kitchen manager Chef Derrick Drain. We started at the beginning of summer searching far and wide for a great teammate. Due to some sort of universe kismet woo woo alchemy, Chef Drain was also looking far and wide for a new home. Drain came to us from Detroit by way of Virginia. His broad smile, generous enthusiasm, and steady as she goes leadership have allowed our sweet cafe to continue to blossom. His weekly specials speak to our continued ethos of fresh and real food with a savory heart. 

Chef Derrick Drain with a stone fruit slow-roasted brisket, egg, and crunchy slaw sandwich served here with a curried carrot soup.

a man holding a plate of food
Chef Derrick Drain of The Coronet – Photo by Lance Thorn

The Coronet Cafe focuses on fresh vibrant food that looks to local and always has sustainable ingredients. 

Pictured here is our Bun Cha with local organic greens from Southwinds Farm, house vegan fish sauce, and pomegranate glazed tofu.

a plate of food on a table
Bun Cha at The Coronet – Photo by Anna Smirnova

Each morning our head baker Anna Summer creates cookies, vegan olive oil cakes, gluten-free muffins, laminated scones, polenta upside down cakes, and more. The case is always brimming with tasty goodies

a slice of cake on a plate
Upside Down Polenta Cake at The Coronet Cafe – photo by Anna Summer

Our sweet cafe has only been open for dinner since the end of last season. In the evening the cafe food comes from the same kitchen as the Coronet Restaurant. We think of the cafe menu as a place between an old-world brasserie and American comfort food. The fare ranges from small charcuterie plates, a stand-out burger and fries, or a sharp Welsh cheddar, gruyère, and peach aleppo jam grilled cheese sammie on barrio bread to a spicy Thai mussels or a classic coffee rubbed New York strip with a three peppercorn bourbon sauce steak frites. We also brought over some fan favorites from the Coronet Restaurants’ last menu, like the roasted artichoke hearts and the grilled steelhead.

a bowl of food on a plate
Roasted Artichokes and Thai Mussels at The Coronet – Photo by Lance Thorn
a close up of a piece of cake on a plate
Grilled Cheese at The Coronet – Photo by Anna Smirnova
a close up of food on a plate
Burger at The Coronet – Photo by Anna Smirnova

There is ample seating in the Coronet Cafe patios as well as indoor seating available in the classic and well-appointed Booth Rooms.

Small Patio at The Coronet Cafe – Photo by Anna Smirnova
a room filled with furniture and vase on a table
Booth Rooms at The Coronet – Photo by Jesse Andre

When I first opened the Coronet almost 10 years ago now, I often used to clap my hands together twice at the beginning of each service and say “Let’s play cafe!” 

To me, there is art and there is theater in the making of a restaurant. There is a daily production in both the back and the front of the house that requires dedication and commitment. It takes a team that is dedicated to each other, to each day, and quite frankly to each moment, to make a thing that stays delicious, timeless, and beautiful. 

A destination is a place that folks make a special trip to visit. Come take that trip and have a lovely repast, enjoy a fantastic coffee in the daytime, or grab a craft cocktail from Nightjar in the evening, settle into our historic courtyard gardens, and enjoy!

The Coronet, Coronet Cafe, and Nightjar are located at 198 W. Cushing St. For more information and to see the full menus, visit

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