Austin’s Top Ten Coffee Shops 2015

Austin’s Top Ten Coffee Shops 2015

Every couple of years Downtown Austin Blog likes to take inventory of Austin’s best coffee shops.  With SXSW approaching, thousands of visitors will be looking for a respite, so it is a great time to update our picks.  Coffee shops in Austin are everywhere. They’re a dime a dozen. They’re right up there with the food trailer trend. There are even coffee shop-food trailers. You can find coffee shops inside book stores and even inside bike shops.

So how does one navigate through the multitude of places to grab a cup of joe in Austin these days?

[Read more…]

Artwork By Mike Johnston (The Day I Found Treasure At Austin Java)

Artwork By Mike Johnston (The Day I Found Treasure At Austin Java)

mike johnston artist at Austin Java

On Saturday, I walked into Austin Java on 2nd Street, ’bout to get my omelet on.  Chillaxin.  There I was, standing in line, just looking around, and I realize that every piece of art work on the walls is making an impact on me.

A flyer taped to the wall explained most of the artwork was by Mike Johnston.  Life surprised me with these paintings.  All of them bringing a smile to my face.  They put a skip into my step.  14 pieces in total.  Each is repurposed scrap wood.

I purchased every piece in the store.

I couldn’t carry everything home, so I walked home beaming at my purchase, and returned later to pick up my treasure.

“Street art” is one of my favorite visual mediums. Bold, unexpected, high-contrast, ironic, symbolic, stylized, comical, etc.  Some of my favorite “public art” is found on the Lady Bird Lake train overpass, the Lamar underpass, the wall on Castle Hill, the wall on E 5th Street near Saltillo Station.

I’ve seen Exit Through The Gift Shop, and am basically familiar with the work of Shepard Fairey and Banksy.  Which makes me no more than a casual fan of a couple of notable artists.

I didn’t know about Mike until walking into Austin Java, and that’s part of what made this such a nice discovery.  I’m excited to have a collection of local art work that totally vibes with me.  I look at it and smile.

As I research and learn more about Mike and his work the more happy I am to be the newest host of these paintings – which will probably be on the walls of our soon-to-be-redone office (you should stop by in a few weeks to check it out).  Until then, check out more of Mike’s work here.

http://www.offthawalls.blogspot.com

-Jude

La Boite Coming To Downtown Austin’s Old Bakery Park

La Boite Coming To Downtown Austin’s Old Bakery Park

La Boite Cafe will soon occupy an underutilized downtown Austin open space.

If you’ve driven down South Lamar recently, then you’ve no doubt seen the adaptively repurposed shipping container perched on the hilltop at Collier and S. Lamar.

The open space pictured below, just north south of the Old Bakery, will be the 2nd La Boite location and will feature a similar modified shipping container.

Now that Little City is gone, the northern stretch of Congress Ave needs a recharge of pedestrian and retail energy.  La Boite Cafe’s innovative design, broad audience, and placement next to the Old Bakery is a big step in right direction.

Kudos to Melissa Barry at the Downtown Austin Alliance for helping push this idea through.  We’re told La Boite will start site work next week, and once open they will keep normal business hours in addition to Saturday mornings. [Read more…]

Caffe Medici Opens Under The Austonian

Caffe Medici Opens Under The Austonian

Just in time for SXSW, Caffe Medici opens its third location.  Located in the Austonian on Congress Ave, I was immediately impressed with the finish out.  Great layout, great light, great coffee.  We’ll soon need to update our Best Coffee Shops In Austin list. A couple of quick android pics after the jump. [Read more…]