Monday, June 4, 2007

Windsor Park Gets a New Coffee Shop Rumor!

Windsor Park is abuzz with new rumors of the coffee source in Mueller, which will supply all those doctors and nurses, all those Best Buy employees, all those residents of David Weekley homes, and, yes, should they care to venture across 51st, the denizens of Windsor Park.

Will it be Jo's? A new El Chilito, called El NorteƱo? Epoch East?

No, it will be a Starbuck's.

Friends shopping in one of the new stores heard that Starbuck's will be moving into one of the retail spaces on that side of the development. I've long said, hey, it could be Starbuck's, I don't care, I want coffee in Windsor Park. But I've changed my mind. And not about coffee. After seeing all the other retail crap in Mueller, I began to crave even more retail from that brand we know and love, the Keep Austin Weird brand (oh, what the hell, let's just call it KAW, the KAW brand). But no.

Fortunately, you say, there WILL be a coffee shop in Windsor Park! The Migrant!...No, the Vagrant...What's it going to be called? The Transient?

Oh, yes, the Nomad.

Apart from the name of the place -- which surely will be mistaken for a day labor site -- a commenter reports that it won't, in fact, be a coffee place. It will be a bar.

The search continues, people. Capital, o capital, wherefore art thou?


Jill said...

The ex-7/11 on Cameron will soon become another gas station/convenience store but will have a kitchen that will serve breakfast and other foods, according to the Conoco employees (the same guy owns both). I hope that this does not discourage the Nomad from pursuing its coffee dreams... (and *my* coffee dreams...)

Lacey said...

I hope the Nomad folks notice that everyone keeps referring to it as a coffee shop. It would be great if it could be a coffee shop by day, bar by night.

And I'm going to be a heretic and say that a Starbucks in Mueller would be better than nothing.

Miguel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

I love to travel, and the name, Nomad, brought forth images of explorers, nomadic tribes in tune with the earths rhythms and cycles and people with a sense of wonder about distant lands and countries, people with wanderlust. Maybe, it will be seen as a place for cultures to meet and enjoy a good cup o joe or beer and tastes from their home countries in case their travels and journeys find them longing for a taste of their distant home. Or, if a not so well traveled American, a traveled one that misses what they discovered in their travels, or simply someone that wants to educate themselves about other cultures they can come to a place that will be there to cater to them. Thats what Nomad says to me, any other perceptions on the name out there? I appreciate the feedback.

coffeehound said...

Miguel, on the name of the place: A bar I can walk to? It could be named "Kundalini A-Go-Go" or "Good Times for Panty Waists" and I'd still go. So at that level, the name doesn't REALLY matter.

My wife and I run through potential names for our putative children all the time, one goal of which is to vet the name against all known obscenities, unapt cultural references, or unfortunate rhymes. And really, the kids on the playground aren't going to care why we named the boy "Cardinal," only that the shortened name, "Card," rhymes with "retard," and the name gets struck off the list.

I don't like name "The Nomad" because it doesn't fit the place or the neighborhood. It comes laden with preconceptions and meanings; it's overdetermined. It won't evolve, it's already set in stone. Plus it resonates with other words and meanings that aren't so positive (e.g., vagrant).

I respect all the meanings and associations you bring to the name. Travel, cultural meeting places, education: those are surely good things. It's your place. You can name it as you want. But the name will never be mine, too. Sometimes you want a beer, not a sermon or a lecture. So if you want it to be a place where lots of people can come in and find something for them and buy a small slice of it, and in a certain amount of time make the place theirs, too, then the name should be open for them.

Maybe someday the awkwardness will fade and the name will become just another word. "Epoch" is a totally pretentious name for a coffee shop, and I'm just now getting to the point where I can squeeze the name out of my mouth without wincing.

Miguel said...

Yeah I see your point, most everyone I associate tells me they love the name, but ultimately you are right, the name matters not, its how the place will fit in that will make it a success. I laughed when I heard the name Barflys as you shouldnt really go to an establishment with the word Barf in it, but it works just fine and the place has been there for 6 years. As far as fitting the neighborhood, I disagree, our neighborhood is quite diverse and many different cultures, lifestyles and nationalities are represented, so in that sense, I believe, the name is perfect.

David said...

My understanding of the place was that it would be "a coffee shop by day, bar by night", whose menu will be a nice alternative to the ubiquitous Hamburgers and Mexican cuisine. It will also be a business run by Windsor Park residents, and that is something that I can wholeheartedly support. In the end, it is us, The Customers, that will help determine the identity of our neighborhood Bar/Coffee shop with our frequent patronage.

I think the name "The Nomad" is fine. To me the name only piques my curiosity, and obviously everyone else's hence the original post and its many comments. The word "nomad" doesn't evoke "transient" or "vagrant", and most certainly not "Migrant". The building used to be a day labor business, but the owners of The Nomad are hopefully going to change that. Having a friendly Bar in the 'hood promotes community.

The word "Nomad" reminds me of my own worldly travels - when I was young, optimistic, and open-minded with an unyielding thirst for other cultures void of Starbucks. If the bar were named "The Corporation", or "The Bigot", or "The Coffehound", I would definitely not go.

coffeehound said...

@Miguel: Ditto on Barfly's. I think I'll start pronouncing it "barf-ly."

"The Nomad" still doesn't fit the neighborhood. It would be a great name for a bar in Cuzco or Prague. For here, not so much. The point isn't that many cultures aren't represented here, it's about expectation. You don't come to the edge of WP expecting international culture. If what's in the neighborhood determines what to name the place, then why not "The Pecan Tree" or "Little Ranch Houses" or "The Subtle Gentrifier"?

@David: Roger's thesaurus gives us these synonyms for "nomad" (forgive repetitions): itinerant, migrant, pilgrim, rambler, rover, vagabond, gypsy, immigrant, transient, vagrant, wandering, departer, drifter, emigrant, evacuee, expatriate, gypsy, immigrant, itinerant, migrator, mover, nomad, rover, tinker, transient, traveler, vagrant, wanderer, adventurer, barnstormer*, bum*, commuter, deadhead, displaced person, drifter, excursionist, expeditionist, explorer, floater, gadabout, globetrotter, gypsy, hiker, hobo, itinerant, jet-setter, journeyer, junketer, migrant, navigator, nomad, passenger, peddler, pilgrim, rambler, roamer, rover, rubberneck, sailor, salesman, seafarer, seatcover, sightseer, tourist, tramp, transmigrant, trekker, tripper, trouper, truant, voyager, wanderer, wayfarer, beachcomber, beggar, deadbeat, derelict, down-and-out*, drifter, floater, gypsy, hobo, idler, itinerant, loafer, migrant, nomad, outcast, piker, ragbag, rascal, road agent, rogue, rolling stone, rover, stiff, stray, stumblebum, tramp, transient, traveler, vagrant, wayfarer, adventurer, beachcomber, bum, drifter, explorer, floater, gad, gadabout, gallivanter, globe-trotter, gypsy, itinerant, meanderer, nomad, pilgrim, rambler, ranger, roamer, rolling stone, rover, saddle tramp, straggler, stray, stroller, traveler, voyager

Teseo said...

Why are you so worried about the name? Don't worry about it my little coffeehound...everything's gonna be OK. I can't wait for a place that is not the Carouse(L) Lounge. Besides, "The Rolling Stone" and "The Globetrotters" were already taken.

coffeehound said...

Because there was a tinge of a suggestion in David's post that my original choices for synonyms of "nomad" were bigoted.

Teseo said...

Ouch! I didn't read David's comment that way, but I guess it all depends on how you read the world. Like when I read your synonyms for Nomad we have:
Voyager - I think of the NASA satellites

Rover - The Mars Rover bringing us Mars photos

Expeditionist/Explorer - I think of Sir Edmund Hillary Climbing Mt. Everest

Journeyer - a Journey Fan?

Loafer - A pretty stupid looking shoe

Commuter - This defines a lot of us

Tourist - We've all been one

Globetrotter - My idols when just a wee lad

Rolling Stones - Well, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes..."

Stephanie Bush said...

How about "The Idler" - as both the name of the bar, and coffeehound's first born?

Alternately, "Flaneur," again, to both.

Stephanie Bush said...

The Guy Debord Bar and Grill?

coffeehound said...

idle is a great first name! unvetted, I must add..

Stephanie Bush said...

But "Idler," pronounced ID-ler, is even better.

Miguel said...

CH, do we live in the same neighborhood? It is quite international and I'm not just talking about the "migrants" that live here. Just in joining the WPNA and canvassing around the hood Ive run into, A few Germans, a Czech, two Irish nationals, one Englishman so far but he says there are more, one Austrian, 2 Russians, some students from Indonesia, my Vietnamese neighbors at the bar, one person from Spain, one from Jamaica and one I met from South Korea. Add to that the scores and scores of people who love to travel and if still not convinced go ahead and throw in the migrant workers and you have a name that is very descriptive of our neighborhood. Im sure there are many, many more and I cant wait to quench their thirst for home.

Now if you live in round rock I can see why you think it doesnt fit.But we live in eclectic WP and I know that you will be able to get past the name and enjoy our place and I look forward to serving you.

Now on a side topic, do you think Starbucks represents our neighborhood better? or how about Best Buy or Marshalls? One thing you must agree is that the name is WEIRD(at least to you), so there you have it, KAW brand just for you. ; )

Teseo said...

I think what Miguel is trying to tap into here is that each one of us is from somewhere else, no matter what your heritage is. And if you're entire family for the past 12 generations are Austin born and raised, hopefully you have travelled somewhere in your life. If you haven't, then you're boring.

I'm a nomad. Are you?

Winston said...

Wikipedia has a distinctively less pejorative understanding of "nomad." Now, I know Wikipedia's entries don't come to us from on high, being written by almost anyone instead of a committee of smart people, but wikipedia is still a good source for things like this.

And I never thought Miguel's Nomad would primarily be a coffee shop. In an earlier post on this blog, The Nomad was described as a sort of "Gingerman meets Club DeVille." I don't consider either of those spots to be coffee shops, but I could certainly have coffee in either place.

And trust me, I want a good, local coffee shop here as much as anyone, but I also want to give credit to those in the neighborhood who are trying to build up a sense of community and providing a space to do it. I think it is unfortunate that you have begun to ridicule Miguel's Nomad before the doors have even opened--regardless of the primary beverage focus or the name on the sign.

In other words, let's leave the name calling to the little kids.

Kristin said...

I think the name "the Nomad" is great. I envision myself walking and wandering around the neighborhood on my way there - nothing fits better!

Miguel said...

Teseo, I'm a Nomad! Winston, you get a gold star.

echostorm said...

How can a developer make mad $$ in our neighborhood? Put in a Jo's Quack's or Thundercloud Subs or Amy's or some kind of locally owned coffee shop/bakery/sandwich joint... with pleasant outdoor seating... You will have business coming out of your ears.

echostorm said...

I see a group of nice looking parents with their toddlers at Bartholomew park every morning when I walk my dog. Boy could they use a little neighborhood gathering place to grab a cup of coffee and a muffin or sandwich... Perhaps directly across the street from the park at the expanding Speedy Stop location? I work from home, so I would go there every day!

coffeehound said...

I stand firm: The name "The Nomad" doesn't work for me, but it's not going to matter in the long run. I don't object that it's not descriptive of the neighborhood -- I never wrote that -- it's that I dislike the more-international-than -thou attitude.* But that's me. I wholly applaud the initiative, too. In fact, Miguel should be thanking me for the advance publicity.

If you don't like the writing, Winston, you're invited to find more mature entertainment elsewhere.

The larger point is this one: business is about meeting the needs of a market. I see a need for coffee in WP. I have a need for coffee. I will pay money for coffee. But if someone wants to invest their money to bring beer, foreign films, and wall hangings, go ahead! Maybe stubbornness will turn out to be good for business, too.

*I recommend not going head to head with me on travel, time lived abroad, or languages spoken.

coffeehound said...

Oh well. Got a little overheated there. Am contemplating a new blogging rule for myself, not to comment on my own posts.

Winston said...

I never said I wanted mature entertainment. If you don't like the comments, maybe you should disable them. I presumed we were invited to respond to what you wrote.

My thinking is we may all meet as neighbors at "The Nomad" someday, and we ought to keep things neighborly in cyberspace. But I also recognize that this is your blog, not mine.

Miguel said...

CH, consider yourself thanked.

lepard said...

Miguel - send me email, I have lost yours.


echostorm said...

I spoke with a guy at the corporate office of Speedy Stop, the gas station on 51st & Berkman, which is expanding to incorporate the prime land overlooking the creek. I told him about this blog and suggested that they could make a lot of money by including a little coffee shop with pleasant outdoor seating-- a neighborhood gathering spot. I suggested partnering with a well established local business like Jo's, rather than Subway (as they are planning). He seemed intrigued by the idea, said he would take it under consideration, and mentioned that his boss is a huge coffee fanatic. So what do you say we shower Speedy Stop corporate offices with gifts of fine coffee... and a petition?

echostorm said...

Sign this petition and pass it around!