Editor’s Note: Austin Java is closing its Barton Springs location on July 1, 2018, due to rising property taxes. A new location will open at 5404 Manchaca Road.
Running an Austin blog, I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. Every day I get to explore Austin, meet fascinating people, and write about a city that I love to discover.
Most days, I’m out and about and normally have a long list of people who I’m meeting with. More often than not, my meetings are one right after the other. Because of this routine, I’m frequently looking for great local spots to work from for the day.
Enter Austin Java on Barton Springs.
I don’t know about you, but in order for me to plant myself for a few hours and get down to interviews and writing, I have certain things that I’m looking for when it comes to establishments.
For me, the place has to be comfortable and clean, and the staff has to be friendly. I’m also always on the lookout for things like free parking, free wifi, great coffee, power outlets…and good food is a huge bonus.
Believe it if you dare: Austin Java on Barton Springs has all of those bases covered…and more.
I had the privilege of meeting with Austin Java owner Rick Engel at his Barton Springs location. Let me tell you, Rick is a busy man. What you may not know is that Rick has ownership or management of 26 local restaurants here in Austin, and he definitely has his fingers on the pulse of the city. Rick is a whirlwind, and he’s incredibly passionate about all of his establishments and endeavors. We talked for over an hour, and every one of his projects seemed more exciting than the next.
Regarding Austin Java specifically, I asked Rick what separates it from other local establishments. Rick replied, “We aren’t just a coffee house. We’re a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and we roast our own coffee. We serve breakfast all day long, and the restaurant has a large footprint with plenty of space and parking. We hold music, comedy, and movie events here too.”
And here I thought Austin Java was just a coffee shop. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is much more to Austin Java than coffee.
In addition to hosting events, roasting their own coffee and employing a table-side waitstaff that serves a full menu, Austin Java partners with charitable organizations like the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation and LifeWorks. During my time with Rick, it was clear that he truly believes in community and fundraising for charities.
Rick has a ton of other things he’s working on right now, including a new restaurant called Lickona’s which will be right across from Austin City Limits, where the City Hall Austin Java is currently located. He envisions Lickona’s as a House of Blues-style joint with Austin uniqueness, a place where artists will come and perform an acoustic set after they are done with their show at ACL. With Terry Lickona and Rick Engel involved, this place is sure to be a success. You won’t have to wait too long; Lickona’s is expected to open for ACL later this year.
Austin Java on Barton Springs is a great location, and there are many locations to choose from in the Austin area. I highly encourage you to check this business out and keep your eyes on Rick Engel. He’s really one of those people who is positively impacting local charities and the vibe of the city we all love.