Grounds for celebration
Student-approved Austin coffee shop brews up new 24-hour Highland location
We don’t want to ascribe any nefarious motives, but the owners of Austin mini-chain Bennu Coffee might be on a mission to make sure locals never sleep again. On April 11, the popular hub for low-key Tinder dates and college cram sessions revealed plans for a third 24-hour location in the former Highland Mall.
Expected to arrive in late 2019 or early 2020, the shop will anchor Fivetwo, a mixed-use community in the middle of a 81-acre redevelopment at Airport Boulevard and Jacob Fontaine Lane. The new digs will offer 3,500 square feet of people-watching, a large service counter, and, of course, free WiFi.
Jordan Michael Designs was tasked with designing the space, described in a release as “signature eclectic comfort combined with modern architectural elements.” What that will ultimately look like is not entirely clear but a rendering shows crisp green used throughout and a built-in library acting as a focal point.
Although the space is larger than the two other locations, it has many of the same offerings. The coffee beans will still be sourced from Texas Coffee Traders and a full menu of French presses, cold brew, and signature mochas like the spiced Don Quixote will be available.
As with the other outposts, the upcoming Bennu will work with local purveyors such as Taco Mex, The Green Cart, Celeste’s Best, Tamale Addiction, and Russell’s Bakery to provide snacks. The release hinted that even more partnerships might be on the way.
“Expanding into the Fivetwo development allows us to increase support of our many local vendors, which has always been a priority for us,” said owner Stephanie Williams via the release. “Plus, we are really excited for the opportunity to connect with the growing Highland and Austin Community College communities.”
The addition of Fivetwo and Bennu continues the neighborhood’s transformation. Since Highland Mall closed in April 2015 to make way for an ACC expansion, the area has been reimagined with new development and green space. More is on the way, including offices, a retail and restaurant plaza, and more parks.