Sure, Austin is a laid-back city. But its residents are also highly caffeinated, and hard-charging, athletically speaking. For proof, look to the steadily growing coffee-shop-and-cyclery scene. Lance Armstrong opened Juan Pelota, a café inside his Mellow Johnny’s bike shop in 2008, Downtown; on the East Side, cool commuters have been getting their fix (and fixing flats) at Flat Track Coffee Roasters, which shares a space with repair shop Cycleast. Now, a third entrant to the scene has arrived: The Meteor, a South Austin all-day cafe that further fizzes-up the concept.
Outside the glassy mid-century remodel, a retro neon sign promises espresso, Champagne, and chain lube. And that’s the truth.
Step up to the counter, and you can order coffee and espresso drinks with beans from Intelligentsia—Doug Zell, the buzzy Chicago-based coffee company’s co-founder, is a co-owner here—while in massive reach-in coolers you can pull bottles of bubbly like Deutz Brut Classic and P. Lancelot Royer Blanc de Blancs, along with a range of biodynamic wines.
And in a small bike shop set-up in back you’ll find, as promised, chain lube: Rock ‘n’ Roll Gold “The King of Lubes.” Along with big-dollar bikes, of course.
“The idea was to serve the best version of that trinity: the best coffee in town, the best wine program in town, the best bike shop in town,” says General Manager Andrew Werth.
Not to mention food: Werth also designed the menu, which from noon to close, features Roman-style pizza, with toppings like summer squash and ricotta béchamel, sold by the pound.
Werth points out that while this way of selling pizza is foreign to most Americans, it’s similar to how Texans purchase barbecue meats at a smokehouse.
Fully satiated, you might be more inclined to wander back to the bike shop, where you can run up your charge card on a handmade carbon fiber bike from Allied Cycleworks, a frame from Tomii, a local builder, or a bib from Rapha.
Since you’ll need a way to burn off those calories, ask around about group rides that begin and end here on weekends.
The idea was to serve the best version of that trinity: the best coffee in town, the best wine program in town, the best bike shop in town.
2110 S. Congress Ave; espressochampagnechainlube.com
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