The above video shows a video of Thunderbird Coffee on Oct. 6, 2023.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The owner of Thunderbird Coffee in East Austin said that he is exploring options for rezoning the location, after announcing last week the upcoming closure of the 17-year-old shop.
Ryan McElroy said that the business has not seen sustainable demand since the pandemic.
“However, we are exploring other concepts and are hopeful to keep the laid-back feel that the coffee shop had for the past 17 years, including working with the existing building and adding parking on the adjacent lot,” McElroy said.
McElroy describes a “public house type of vibe” at the core of concepts for the location. He also said that the new business may include alcohol sales, which requires him to file a rezoning request with the city.
The request asks for a CS-1, or commercial-liquor sales, designation. If granted, McElroy’s business would be permitted to serve alcohol without also selling food. Local firm Thrower Design is working on McElroy’s behalf with city filings.
“Rezoning is sought to allow for cocktail lounge use,” Thrower Design’s request to the city reads. “The rezoning allows for a use that can be frequented by local residents within walking distance, or by bus for patrons that may live outside the walk shed.”
McElroy said that the firm will be in contact soon with residents in the area about the rezoning.
Thunderbird Coffee will close by December 12. But its successor will be further in the future.
“We understand there are lengthy review times with the City for various processes, including rezoning,” McElroy said. “Our desire is to get this request ‘in-line’ for consideration while we work through more in-depth considerations.”