South by Southwest may have cancelled its SouthBites food truck park for the 2019 festival, but the name is living on as Austin’s newest downtown haunt. At 7 am on June 3, SouthBites Coffee Bar and Cafe will debut along with the new SXSW Center at 1400 Lavaca St.
Heading the operation will be Brent Schumacher, founder and executive chef of Pink Avocado Catering, and Quirino “Q” Silva, former director of culinary operations for Flyrite Chicken. According to a release, the pair are longtime friends but have previously not had an opportunity to partner on a project.
“Q and I are longtime admirers of one another’s work, and outside of our personal friendship, we have always looked to collaborate in a more meaningful and continuous way. When the amazing opportunity to get involved from [the] ground-floor with SXSW’s new office building (no pun intended) presented itself, it was just too good to pass up,” said Schumacher in the release.
SouthBites will feature “mindfully sourced” grab-and-go food from Pink Avocado Catering, including tacos, sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The menu is designed to accommodate a variety of specialty diets, including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian offerings.
Caffeine will be a big focus as well. The coffee bar will serve espresso drinks and coffee made from Cuvee beans and offer buzzy programming curated by head barista Denise Caballero, a vet of cult Southern chain Revelator Coffee.
Later in the summer, the team will launch pop-ups on the rooftop deck of the center with a full bar and small bites. Although the area will normally only be open to tenants, the pop-ups will give locals the chance to take in the breathtaking views.
SouthBites Coffee Bar and Cafe, however, will always be open to the general public — as will an upcoming restaurant teased in the release. Though the details of that project are still mum, the team did reveal it is currently slated to open in February 2020.
“I hope our new SouthBites cafe and restaurant is something the local community embraces as we look to offer high-quality, but approachable food and drink options to an area that is traditionally considered limited on options, especially for those who work closer to the Capitol,” said Schumacher. “It’s only the start for SouthBites, but we couldn’t be more excited for the future ahead.”