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Austin's beloved Empowered Coffee shutters due to rent hike, promises to re-open

Kristin Finan
kfinan@statesman.com
Spencer Khan, left, and William Mullican wrap up a workday at Empowered Coffee in August. The coffee shop, which closed in December, is expected to open in a new location this spring. [Stephen Spillman for the American-Statesman]

Bad news for java lovers: Austin's beloved Empowered Coffee, which created a significant buzz when it opened last March as the city's first 100 percent inclusive coffee shop, has closed.

The shop, which was inside RunLab at 410 Pressler St. and solely employed individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, shuttered in late 2018 because of a rent increase. It is expected to re-open at the Arc of the Capital Area, a nonprofit committed to empowering Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, either as a physical location or as a coffee truck in March or April, said Jonathan Davis, who co-founded Empowered Coffee with his wife, Dr. Kim Davis.

In the meantime, Empowered Coffee is fulfilling online orders at empoweredcoffee.com, Davis said.

"Our team knows they have jobs waiting for them once we re-open," Davis said. "We are definitely committed to re-opening."

Also on Austin360: Finding good java and opportunity at Empowered Coffee