It may be a sluggish year for restaurant openings, but the 2019 coffee shop wars are just perking up. From Starbucks competitors like PJ’s Coffee to cult brands like Intelligentsia, every caffeine pusher from here to Timbuktu seems to be racing to enter the Austin market — including Black Rock Coffee Bar.
In a release, the Portland, Oregon-based chain announced three Austin-area storefronts, the first Texas locations for the brand. Kicking things off will be an outpost at William Cannon Drive and Southwest Parkway in November, followed by drive-thru outposts in Pflugerville and Round Rock in 2020.
Founded in 2008, Black Rock offers all the usual coffee drinks like Americanos, lattes, and mochas. Like many chains, it has also caught on to the tea trend.
Unlike many coffee concepts, it is seemingly unafraid of the caffeine jitters. The Jackhammer, a vanilla mocha, has an extra two shots, while the plainly named Fuel tempts panic attacks with a whopping six shots. Black Rock even offers smoothies turbocharged with Rockstar energy drinks.
Though the design details for the Austin-area locations have not been divulged, the stores seem to uniformly feature an industrial aesthetic with touches like exposed brick, garage doors, and Chesterfield sofas — basically retail versions of the New Girl loft.
It remains to be seen whether Black Rock can grab a piece of marketshare, but it has chosen its locations wisely. Though the east side and downtown are nearing a coffee saturation point, Southwest Austin and the suburbs are still underserved.