Grounds for celebration

Renowned Chicago coffee company brightens up Austin with new downtown cafe

Chicago coffee company brightens up Austin with new downtown cafe

Intelligentsia Coffee
Intelligentsia Coffee will soon be pouring into Austin. Intelligentsia Coffee/Facebook

One of the “big three” of the third-wave coffee movement is brewing up something big in Austin. Chicago-based phenom Intelligentsia Coffee will open its anticipated first Texas outpost Wednesday, August 21, at 607 W. Third St. inside the Third + Shoal building.

Although new to the Capital City, the brand made sure to give the intimate 30-seat coffee bar true local flavor. According to a release, architect Scott Magic was inspired by Texas Hill Country swimming holes and only used materials sources within 25 miles of the city limits.

A dynamic mural made from local artist Erin Curtis also sets the scene. We Are Living on a Star uses more than 4,800 recycled Elgin Butler bricks to create an explosion of pattern and color that will surely wake customers up as much as the coffee.

The local focus extends into the food and drink menu. The downtown location will be the only Intelligentsia to offer the Roadrunner, an intriguing mix of cold coffee, freshly pressed grapefruit juice, and soda. Snacks from Easy Tiger and Sour Duck Market will also be on hand.

In addition, the coffee bar will serve six drinks on tap, including several nitro coffee selections; iced tea; and the Limelight, a sipper made with cold coffee, lime juice, and sparkling tonic. Single-origin coffees curated each morning by the baristas, espresso drinks, and brewed teas from Kilogram round out the offerings.

“We are thrilled to be opening our first Intelligentsia coffee bar in Austin and to offer our culinary take on coffee as a small part of an already incredibly dynamic coffee scene,” said Intelligentsia Coffee CEO and President James McLaughlin via release.

Austinites might be equally thrilled to see it arrive. Guests visiting Intelligentsia between 7 am and noon on opening day will have the chance to win prizes like a year of free coffee, a chocolate library from cult artisan company Askinosie, and two music and camping passes to the Trans-Pecos Festival in Marfa.