A short drive, bike ride, roller blade trip or walk down Fairbanks Ave. will bring you to Austin’s Coffee, a funky hole-in-the-wall coffee joint with lots of personality.
A different atmosphere from the sophistication of Park Ave. and the hanging moss of the lakeside Rollins campus, Austin’s offers more than meets the eye. The narrow rectangle of a building is complete with a sidewalk patio, stage, casual seating, menu of tasty treats and beverages, wall o’ games and art galore! The perfect place to people-watch and enjoy your favorite beverages — served warm or cool — in recyclable Greenware cups while listening to a playlist, ranging from Vampire Weekend’s “White Sky” to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” this coffee shop is a unique place to study when you bore of the library or when you are craving a new sound. *snap snap snap* Word to the people.
Grace (aka Kosher Loescher) and Emily (aka Éclair) park their wheels in the parking lot to the rear of the building and enter through the slim, orange side-door into the world of Austin’s Coffee.
Kosher Loescher: “You’re hittin’ that Moroccan Mint tea pretty hard, huh?” As Éclair returns to the counter for a refill of iced Moroccan Mint tea.
Éclair: “It’s soo minty fresh, I can’t resist. What is your beverage of choice today?”
KL: “I got the Chunkey Monkey – a frozen blend of coffee, chocolate and banana.”
É: “Ooh that pairs nicely with this slice of famous, mile-high peanut butter pie!” Kosher Loescher does not answer as she slides down into her plush, blue, reclaimed movie theater seat, soaking in the spectacular sound of Regina Spektor’s “Fidelity.”
É: Laughing at Kosher Loescher’s visible forehead across the table: “You must really love Regina Spektor.”
KL: “Well, yeah! I gotta have my daily dose of Regina Spektor! I like all the tunes here. You know they play good music when they’ve played three Beatle songs within the last hour.”
É: “I concur. Hey, I thought you said it was live jazz nights on Thursdays. It seems pretty mellow in here tonight.”
KL: “Yeah, it usually is jazz night on Thursdays, but they no longer play here. However, they have lots of other performance nights. Monday is open mic hip-hop. Tuesday is open mic music. Wednesday is open mic poetry. Friday and Saturday are live bands and Sunday is open mic comedy.”
É: “Well, since it’s pretty chill in here, let’s check out the board games on the back shelf.”
KL: “Yes! I’ve had my eye on that Pretty, Pretty Princess game for a while. Too bad it’s not Saturday or we could play in Austin’s Multilingual Scrabble night!”
É: “I love Scrabble! I must brush up on international vocabulary for next Saturday.”
Much to their disappointment, the Pretty, Pretty Princess game is missing more than half its pieces, so they decide to check out the artwork heavily adorning the walls. Éclair makes a pit stop and returns to admire the brick wall of mini murals. KL: “Isn’t it awesome that there isn’t a mirror in the bathroom and the wall reads, ‘Smile, you’re beautiful.’”
É: “Cool beans, but there is a mirror now.”
KL: “Bummer. It must be new.”
É: “Ahh. I love this song. What’s it called again?”
KL: “It’s MGMT’s ‘Kids’ – a bompin’ song.”
É: “I’m so full. I can’t finish another bite of this mile-high peanut butter pie!”
KL: “Oh, but you must, don’t give up now! It’s the most delicious thing ever.”
É: “You’re right.”
She goes in for another fork-full. Just then, one of the local K-9 regulars, Vincent Van Gogh, comes over to the table, begging for his fair share of the peanut butter pie.
É: “You know, my favorite thing about Austin’s is that they’re dog-friendly!” KL: “My favorite thing about Austin’s is that they’re barefoot-friendly!”
The dynamic duo high five and head for the side door to report their findings of Austin’s to the people.
When they arrived at Austin’s, the hot Winter Park sun accompanied Kosher Loescher and Éclair. Now, as they exit through the slim, orange door smelling of coffee and peanut butter, the air is a few degrees cooler and the sun has long since set. The lights outside Austin’s twinkle. Time flies when you are relaxing in the comfy seating of your neighborhood hang-out.
Return to these pages in two weeks to see where Kosher Loescher and Éclair’s coffee adventure through Orlando takes them next.