Last Call for Coffee
Thunderously popular East Austin coffee shop since 2006 calls it quits
Thunderbird Coffee on Manor Road will soon be closing its doors for good.
The coffee shop has been open since 2006 and has become a local favorite for those in East Austin.
"Hospitality is really important to us and kind of having, like, an Austin friendliness,” owner Ryan McElroy said.
McElroy opened the coffee shop with his brother and is also the owner of Bird Bird Biscuit on Manor Road. He said that business at the coffee shop has never fully recovered since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We used to be very busy at 8 am, like, that's a normal time for a coffee shop to be very busy. And somehow, like, after the pandemic, that never really came back,” McElroy said. "We decided to make the call at a time when we could close gracefully.”
McElroy posted a video on social media announcing the shop's impending closure and was instantly hit with emotion from the community’s response.
"Oh, man, I started crying,” McElroy said. "That was probably the most touching, to be like, ‘Oh my God, like James from 2011, you know, got on and said something nice or whoever."
McElroy said he's grateful for loyal Thunderbird fans like Tess Jarriel, who's been coming to the coffee shop with her now-husband for five years.
"We actually saw the coffee shop when we were trying to find a place to live in East Austin, and we drove by, and my husband was like, ‘Can you imagine, like, living in this area? We could get a dog and like, rent a house and we could like, go to that coffee shop all the time,'” Jarriel said.
Thunderbird said the latest it will stay open is Dec. 17. There's also a possibility the shop will adjust its hours until then depending on staffing.
Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.