Austin’s newest cafe is Big Shots Coffee, a temporary coffee shop that is smartly taking over the patio of East Austin bar Low Down Lounge during daytime hours. It’s found at 1412 East Sixth Street as of July 13 and its last day of service will be on Tuesday, August 10.
Behind Big Shots are Katie Fox and Katie Rhoten, who have spent the past 15 years working in the Austin coffee scene. They met while working at now-closed JP’s Java in 2006. Recently, Fox managed Flitch Coffee and Rhoten did the bookkeeping for Caffe Medici.
They always wanted to open something together, and this was the year they set out to really do it. Low Down owner Allen Demling offered the bar’s patio as a temporary space since it wasn’t being used during daytime hours. The name is a dual reference: first to the obvious espresso action, and second, a throwaway line from Arrested Development quote said by Lucille Bluth.
The coffee menu is a simple one, from drip to espresso drinks to an affogato, alongside tea, matcha, and bottled waters. The beans come from Austin roastery Superthing. The menu will expand with other coffee drinks at some point, such as a vanilla espresso tonic. Food-wise there are bagels and cream cheeses from Rosen’s Bagels. There are plans to add vegan options from Sinfull Bakery.
To operate Big Shots easily at Low Down’s patio, the two created a rollaway cart counter through which they sell their coffee. Fox also created ceramics for the cafe, from mugs to vases. They also adorned the space with plants for a lusher ambiance. They’re working on adding a sign for the front gate as well as adding more plants around the patio. Since there’s a television they plan on screening daytime sports events, like the Olympics.
Like many industries, there has been a shortage of coffee equipment, which caused shipping delays for Big Shots. Luckily, in that meantime, the duo was able to borrow equipment from fellow coffee folks, such as a grinder from Machine Head Coffee’s Nolan Green and an espresso machine from Matthew Bolick (Brew & Brew, etc.).
Fox and Rhoten had planned on operating Big Shots at Low Down for a bit to see what happens. After the pop-up closes, they plan on turning their recently purchased bus into a cafe truck.
Low Down Lounge took over the space previously belonging to dive bar Brixton in the summer of 2020.
Big Shots’s hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Update, August 6, 1:15 p.m.: This article, originally published on July 26, has been updated to include Big Shots’s last day of service.