The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips

By Gerald E. McLeod, January 18, 2013, Columns

The Black Spur Coffee Shop in John­son City makes a mean cappuccino halfway between Austin and Fredericksburg.

If you're like me, you love a cup of coffee while you drive. I'll gladly accept truck-stop coffee when that's the only thing available. But after hundreds of miles of stale coffee-pot joe, even a Starbucks can look like an outpost of civilization.

Local espresso shops are my favorite. They're so individual and friendly. When they're strategically located by some quirk of the local economy, they become an oasis in a desert of burnt coffee. That's why the Black Spur Coffee Shop is so important; it's a well-placed caffeine filling station.

The coffee shop is in the corner of the Black Spur Emporium. The screen-door entrance is kind of hidden behind the colorful Mexican pottery, pink tin pigs with wings, and other objects of fine decorative and folk art. You can shop or enjoy your drinks and unwrap a pastry at the tables before driving on.

Owner, barista, and chief-bottle-washer Mark Macola says he thought about opening a bar, but since he hasn't touched a beer in more than two decades, a coffee shop sounded like a better idea. Now, he might be in danger of drinking up the profits.

The Black Spur Coffee Shop and Emporium is on Hwy. 290 (Main Street) in Johnson City at Nugent Street.

1,120th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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