Downtown bar and music venue Coconut Club opened a new next-door coffee shop over the weekend. Cuatro Gato is found at 310 Colorado Street, taking over shuttered Indian restaurant Papadom’s space. The all-day cafe and coffee shop is highlighting imported Mexican coffee beans, arepas, tapas, and sweets for dine-in and takeout services as of October 31.
For Cuatro Gato (Spanish for “four cats”), Coconut Club co-owners Brian Almaraz and Cole Evans have teamed up with two other local partners for the new venture. There’s certified coffee brewer Sussie Ramirez (aka DJ Suxxy Puxxy), who is also the manager of Peligrosa, a record label that hosts Latinx/tropical and global bass dance parties across Texas. Then there’s Anissa del Rosario Schiek and Jose Tomas Garcia, the co-founders of meal kit-delivery service Arepa Dealers, along with their new team member Elmer Ferro.
The novel coronavirus pandemic forced many local establishments to make the tough decision of shuttering or adapting to the new, more casual food service world. (Coconut Club, which opened in 2019, had been temporarily closed since March before reopening in June.) Coconut’s Almaraz and Evans opted for the latter, aiming to bring the spirit of Austin’s nightlight to the daytime through Cuatro. Working with food was something they had talked about for a while. When the Papadom space became available — complete with an equipped full kitchen — Ramirez approached them with some coffee recipes she made growing up in Mexico, and they decided to open the cafe.
The food menu, courtesy of Arepa Deals, features dishes drawing from Garcia’s and Schiek’s backgrounds (Venezuelan and Filipino, respectively). This means arepas (including a vegan eggplant chorizo one), aji de gallina, and cachapas con queso Guayanés.
Before Cuatro, Schiek and Garcia were already familiar with Coconut Club. When they launched the business as a pop-up earlier this year, they had cooked at the downtown club in February. Due to the pandemic, they shifted into pickup and delivery arepa kits. Because of this new cafe, they’re pausing their meal kit delivery service for now.
Elmer had operated his own Peruvian food business through chef-focused ordering platform Hotplates, and met Schiek and Garcia through the service. Before that, he was a chef at Michelin-starred Central in Lima, Peru before working at Austin Japanese restaurant Uchi and was part of the opening team of Uchi Houston.
As for the coffee, look out for coffee drinks making use of roasted Caturra beans in beverages like chocolata abuelita (a Mexican hot chocolate), cafe de olla (a cinnamon coffee drink mixed with a natural Mexican sweetener), and Ramirez’s housemade horchata cold-brew. The shop intends to sell wholesale beans sourced from a coffee farm in Mexico run by one of Almaraz’s family members.
Cuatro features socially distanced indoor seating, with outdoor seating to come later. Since Coconut Club and Cuatro Gato are right next to each other, the co-owners plan on creating a doorway connecting the two businesses at some point.
Cuatro Gato’s hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for now, with late night hours (until 4 a.m.) to come later. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone at (512) 900-6577 or eventually through third-party delivery apps (DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub).
Update, 1:24 p.m. This article, originally published at 10:41 a.m., has been updated to clarify Ramirez’s role at Peligrosa.
- Cuatro Gato [Instagram]
- Cuatro Gato [Facebook]
- New Arepa Meal Kit Delivery Service Brings Together Venezuelan and Filipino Flavors [EATX]
- All Coverage of Coconut Club [EATX]