Thursday, January 1, 2009

Corona Cafe Interview!

Brandon Gonzalez and his wife, Juliana, took time from prepping the new Corona Cafe to answer some questions from Coffee Hound:

1. What will be available at Corona Cafe to drink and eat?
Corona Cafe will offer coffee, espresso and espresso drinks, tea, bottled beverages (non-alcoholic) and food from local vendors. The Green Cart will provide our sandwiches and wraps, including several vegan and veggie options. We'll also carry empanadas and sliced pizza from La Boca bakery, just east of us by a mile and a half. Breakfast pastries will also be available.
2. How long has Corona Cafe been in the works, and where did the idea come from?
Juliana and I dreamed up Corona Cafe this past April, during happy hour at the Nomad. We have always talked about opening up our own business and all signs pointed to this location.
3. Do you live in Windsor Park? And if so, how long have you been here?
Juliana and I live just east of Windsor Park in Pecan Springs. Juliana and I have lived in Austin since 2001.
4. Have you ever run or owned a coffee shop or restaurant before?
Corona Cafe is our first coffee shop.
5. A lot of people have talked for a long, long time about how WP needs a coffee shop -- do you feel any pressure?
Corona Cafe is looking forward to being another business in the neighborhood where neighbors can get together and socialize. Right now, folks in the 78723 travel over two miles to the nearest locally owned coffee shop.
6. Is this a sole effort by you and your wife, or does Corona Cafe have other investors/owners?
Juliana and I are the sole owners of Corona Cafe. We received a small business loan to finance the start up, and have lots of support from talented friends and neighbors.
7. What's your favorite coffee drink?
Brandon's favorite drink is an Americano with a little cream. Juliana just drinks "regular coffee" but likes the occasional mocha.
So here's your long-awaited coffee shop, Windsor Park: support, partake, and enjoy.

Even before we moved to WP in 2004, people said it was a cool neighborhood, with just one problem: there wasn't a coffee shop. So apart from the fact that WP is now a cool neighborhood with a coffee shop, this is a significant moment. Why? Let's review:

One: If you have any complaints about the Nomad, you should note that this coffee shop idea sprouted at a bar--if Brandon & Juliana didn't have the Nomad to go to, you might not be getting your coffee this soon.

: The Nomad is anchoring new local business development -- and doing it in a way that Mueller hasn't (and if the recession continues, probably never well). It's a triumph for local business all around. There's just no reason to accept the argument that "WP doesn't need to build it, because Mueller will have it." Sure, Mueller may get this or that -- just in time for your kids, not you, to enjoy them.

Three: Note that Brandon & Juliana successfully got a small business loan, which means that someone recognized the good business possibilities on WP's side of the highway, which means that the signs may be good for other business investment over here.

Four: This effort combines both local capital + community, not just capital, and not just community. Call me a Clinton-era Third Wayista, but that seems like a winning combination, at least in this instance. So much of the bad development news in Austin over the last couple years has demonstrated the complete domination of community by capital (e.g., Las Manitas, the Domain, the Broken Spoke) and the refusal by community to admit the usefulness of capital (e.g., complaints about gentrification). Let's not just wish Corona Cafe a happy stay, let's make it happy.

Five: Maybe it's time to close down this blog -- what rumors will I track? Maybe that bakery rumor...


Kelley said...

Thanks so much for the interview, it sounds like a great place. Do you know their target date for opening?

Kelley on Clayton, and on Loyola

coffeehound said...

Earlier Brandon said "mid-January," but maybe he'll post a more exact target date.

lepard said...

OMG, I am so thrilled!

txb787 said...

Corona Cafe will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood! I'll be a frequent customer. However, it's a bit misleading to say it's over two miles from WP to a local coffee shop. Flight Path and Epoch are less than 2 miles for a lot of us. FP is barely over a mile for me. That remark reminded me of the multiple times I heard how great it was to finally have a neighborhood bar (Nomad), when Carousel has been here for 30 years.

coffee.drinker.78723 said...

I am so excited there will be a new coffee shop in the hood! Is this the same vegan coffeeshop that Hector mentioned?