Bennu Coffee taking over Dominican Joe’s space on South Congress Ave.

The inside of the original Bennu Coffee at 2001 E. MLK Blvd. (Credit: Bennu Coffee)

South Austin will soon be able to get its caffeine fix 24-7 from Bennu Coffe the way East Austin has for the last eight years. The coffee shop from Stephanie and Steven Joel Williams will take possession of the Dominican Joe’s space at 515 S. Congress Ave. (at Riverside Drive) on May 1 and initiate a quick turnaround. The owners expect to have the new Bennu open in “very early May.”

As with the original location, which opened in April of 2009,  the new Bennu will be open all day, everyday and serve their specialty coffee drinks, like the Iced Bennu, their Gourmet Mocha menu, cold brew in town, individual French presses, and more. They will also add the “Dominican Joe Honey Cream Latte” to the menu at both locations as a tribute to DJ’s legacy. Bennu will continue to serve DJ’s trademark coffee that benefits Makarios, “a non-profit working to pull families out of poverty by making sure children get an education in the Dominican Republic,” which will be sold by the bag and on rotation for drip coffee at both Bennu locations.

Food offerings will continue to have the  same local feel, with grab-and-go options from local vendors. While all of the relationships haven’t yet been confirmed at the new location, you can likely expect to see some of the familiar names from Bennu East, where you’ll find pizza from Hoboken Pie, pastries from Russells, sandwiches and wraps from The Green Cart, breakfast tacos from Taco Mex, Stroopwafels from The Stroop Club, Vegan pastries from Skull & Cakebones, salads, sandwiches, and pasta salads from Fricano’s Deli, and bagels from Hot Jumbo Bagels.  There will also be several vegan options.

Dominican Joe Coffee Shop, which was started as a partnership between Mehul Patel and Sharla Megilligan (founder of Makarios), originally opened in September 2006. Patel and Megilligan, who are involved in other businesses and non-profits in Austin, decided to sell DJ after being approached by the Williams.

“It’s always been a side project for both of us and we’ve never been able to give it the focus it deserves,” said Megilligan, who is in the process of starting a program for kids aging out of foster care called Ninety-nine & One. “We were happy to sell it to them knowing that they will not only do a great job and keep our staff, but they’ll keep selling our coffee and thereby support Makarios’ programs in the DR. It’s been a very friendly transition and both Mehul and I are excited to see the future of the shop … We’ll continue to be regulars at the shop.”

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