New coffee cafe offers evening hours

Published 6:24 am Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Area coffee lovers will soon be able to get their fix in the morning, noon and night. A new coffee cafe is scheduled to open in December — posting later hours than the other three shops in town.

Cindy and Russell Pihlstrom have been busy the past month renovating the former Hardee’s restaurant at 1300 14 St. NW. They are turning it into Gymocha, an urban-style coffee shop. Cindy said Gymocha will likely be open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and hold fewer to-be-determined hours on Saturday and Sunday. The shop could be open even later, Cindy said, if customers show an interest in supporting that.

Currently, there are no coffee shops open past 5 p.m., or at all on Sundays in Austin.

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The couple, orginally of the Twin Cities area, have lived in Austin for about two years.

They call themselves coffee-lovers. Cindy said she wants to bring a little cosmopolitan coffee culture into their new city.

Though Gymocha will not exactly hold the break of dawn to midnight hours of some Minneapolis cafes, Cindy said the design will add to its urban element.

“It is going to be a little more modern,” she said of the shop.

“I want to bring a little of the cities here,” she added.

One aspect of the shop’s city-feel will be free wireless internet access.

The cafe will also have an outdoor patio, meeting spaces, and various seating arrangements, including leather chairs.

In the next couple of years, the Pihlstroms hope to add an indoor playground, hence “Gymocha.”

Cindy said she will oversee the day-to-day operations at Gymocha, and estimated she could have up to 10 employees.

Russell works at Hormel Foods Corp.

Cindy, who has never worked at a coffee shop, is currently training with Espresso Partners, the Minneapolis-based company from whom they purchased barista equipment.

“I am not an expert yet, but once I am, I am going to create some unique specialty drinks for the menu,” Cindy said.

Gymocha will also serve smoothies, tea, hot cocoa, cookies, muffins, paninis and soup.

“All of the baked goods will be homemade,” Cindy said.

Hardee’s closed in September of 2008 after the owners chose not to renew their lease.

Cindy said renovating has been going smoothly, thanks to her father, friends, and people from their church helping out.

Gymocha has a tentative opening date of Dec. 15. That’s a Tuesday, so you’ve got until 8 p.m. to get over there.