About Black Mountain Coffee Shop Cafe

Black Mountain Coffee Open

black mountain coffee shop logo

Originally established in 1964 as a restaurant, the iconic Black Mountain Coffee Shop continues its legacy with its fifth owners, Don & Lisa Little


Sometime in 1964, a Greek couple started a Coffee & Sandwich shop in the middle of the Sonoran Foothills Desert in a new town called Carefree. The coffee shop’s location was in the Spanish Village Shopping Center.  The new shopping center was the first in Carefree built for restaurants and shops as a destination.

Since then the town has evolved and grown around this iconic place.  Many well known local celebrities use to frequent such as Hugh Downs, Dick Van Dyke, Barry Goldwater and Jerry Jones, to mention a few. Town founders, Tom Darlington and Kenyon Turner Palmer, had their breakfast and coffee while brainstorming their visions for Carefree at the Black Mountain Coffee Shop.

Black Mountain Coffee Shop Inside
black mountain coffee


A few years later, in 1978, is when the Black Mountain Coffee Shop was created by Shelly’s in laws. They ran it for a few years and then sold it to Shelly. In 2015, Shelly decided to retire from the restaurant business after 32+ years!  Shelly sold Black Mountain Coffee Shop to Martin & Tami Holmes, who remodeled and expanded the interior of the restaurant.

In 2017, Don and Lisa Little purchased the Black Mountain Coffee Shop.  Lisa brought 30 years of restaurant experience to the business, as well as 10+ years of business ownership with Don at a Motorcycle Dealership.

The restaurant has been known for all these years as “Carefree’s Best & Favorite Diner.” It’s also known for the best homemade breakfast and lunch around at a great value.  Gonzo has been the head cook for over 20 years, and is now joined by Richard and Chris, combining for over 100 years of cooking experience in the kitchen!

Indoor dining now seats 46 customers, the breakfast eating counter seats an additional six, the outdoor main patio seats 32, and dogs are welcome on the entire patio.  All outdoor patio is weather permitting.


Don & Lisa realized early on the popularity of many items on the restaurant’s menus.  However, after much feedback and requests from guests and the team, new selections have been added.  There are now several gluten free options as well as vegetarian and a special children’s menu.

The new owners also realized there has been a desire for better and locally roasted coffee as well as espresso.  So after a lot of research and taste testing, Miscela D’Oro espresso beans were selected for all espresso drinks. Miscela D’Oro is located in Messina, Italy and have been Artisan coffee roasters since 1946.  Local Tempe based coffee roasters, Infusion Coffee, was the quality coffee brand chosen after extensive tastings!  The ice tea, also provided from local company Espresso Italia, is brewed fresh daily.

coffee mugs