Wheely good idea

Out-of-this-world cafe and bike shop glides into South Austin

Out-of-this-world cafe and bike shop glides into South Austin

The Meteor South Congress
Arkansas-based bike and coffee shop The Meteor will soon be opening a new location on South Congress Avenue. Courtesy photo

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said Flat Track Coffee does not serve food. That is incorrect and the piece has been updated to reflect this change.

A former South Congress convenience store will soon be the home to a freewheeling new cafe. Co-owner Doug Zell tells CultureMap that the first Austin location of The Meteor will be landing at 2110 S. Congress Ave. in August.

Zell, co-founder of acclaimed Intelligentsia Coffee, and business partner Chris St. Peters, an attorney, first opened the concept in Little Rock in 2017 as a combination bike and coffee shop. The Austin outpost was originally intended to be similar, but soon took a turn.

When the team came across the former home of TG&R Discount on the busy SoCo strip, however, the plans expanded. The roomy footprint, ample parking, and outdoor space proved to be the ideal home for an all-day cafe.

“It almost seemed too good to be true,” Zell tells CultureMap, noting that the former occupants were obscuring a “beautiful old building.”

Unlike similar local concepts like Juan Pelota, the Austin Meteor will carry a full food menu made in-house. Zell describes the menu as “health-oriented with an international flair.” To keep customers engaged, dishes like Roman-style pizza, prepared salads, and scratch baked goods will rotate seasonably.

“There will never be a dull moment,” promises Zell.

In creating the beverage program, the team wanted to keep The Meteor “fun and accessible,” says Zell. In addition to a wide variety of teas and coffee drinks (using Intelligentsia beans, of course), the eatery will serve an affordable selection of beer, cider, and biodynamic and organic wines, which can be enjoyed on site or taken to-go.

Cyclists shouldn’t worry, however, that the team has abandoned bike culture. Zell says that The Meteor won’t be a warehouse emporium, but it will still offer a variety of “carefully selected bikes” and offer “top notch service.”

The idea is for the spot to be as appealing to the general customer as the hardcore rider. “We hope you never have to leave,” says Zell.