It turns out that East Austin cafe Revival Coffee isn’t gone after all: Alma Gabriela Lopez, the owner of nearby Mexican restaurant Gabriela’s Downtown, took over the lease after previous owner Alyse Bordelon announced she had to close the coffee shop earlier this month. The revived coffee shop reopened on Tuesday, October 20 after being closed for 12 days.
Bordelon was forced to close Revival earlier this month because she was locked out out of the 1405 East Seventh Street address due to a late rent payment. Originally, she planned on just closing temporarily, but then she realized she had to close permanently because of low sales.
“Revival is my neighborhood coffee shop,” says Lopez; she was a frequent customer and became friends with Bordelon and her staff over the years. When Lopez heard about the shuttering, she asked what she could do. “I was ready to do whatever was necessary to help another woman-owned business,” she says.
With Bordelon’s approval (“it was very important for me [to] make sure she is on board with everything we’re doing”), Lopez took over the lease, which “needed a little maneuvering with the landlord,” she explains, to get Bordelon out of the lease and enable the transfer. Lopez is now overseeing both the coffee shop adjacent food truck court, which is home to Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food and Granny’s Tacos.
Under Lopez’s command, Revival will remain essentially the same. She’s keeping the name, retaining the same baristas and staffers, and selling the same coffee drinks using the same house-made syrups (lavender, vanilla, chocolate). She does tease that she will add “a lot of surprises” at some point.
Lopez isn’t new to turning closed spaces into new businesses. She opened Gabriela’s Downtown in 2018 in the former 100 Pizzitas space. She also opened a downtown taco restaurant, Taquero Mucho, earlier this January, in the former Frank & Angie’s space. She also owns downtown club Mala Vida, which opened in 2019, taking over what had been the Gatsby space.