Reset: New Local Startup Helps Both Restaurants and Freelancers

Offset rent and encourage camaraderie (and pants)

During the daytime, evening-only restaurants have the same mystical allure as seeing one of your teachers out of the classroom, wandering down the aisle of the local HEB, say, with a shopping cart full of kale and a couple of bottles of muscadet. There’s that sense of the forbidden, of seeing something you’re not supposed to see.

Photo by John Anderson

And now, thanks to Reset, a new startup from UT MBA grads Siri Chakka and Silva Gentchev, all of us work-from-home slobs will have the chance to peek behind that velvet curtain.

“The idea for Reset started percolating when we realized there was really no alternative to our apartments or a coffeeshop,” says Gentchev. “We ended up going a bit stir-crazy from working from home, but couldn’t justify the hundreds of dollars a month a coworking space cost without a corporate stipend.”

Reset aims to partner with independent restaurants throughout Austin and the surrounding areas – starting with Nightcap in Clarksville – to create alternatives to the cute but pricey coworking spaces that have been springing up around town (and all over my Instagram) like mushrooms after a rainstorm. In a city with one of the nation’s highest percentages of remote workers (around 5.4 percent of us apparently work from home at least 50% of the time) there’s a real need for the flexibility that a coworking space can provide.

But with starting rates ranging from around $350-500 per month in a city where those figures are about a third of the median rent, that flexibility comes at a cost. Coffee shops are a cheaper option, but as someone who, at the time of writing, is shoved into the corner of my local espresso purveyor frantically typing at 10% battery life, I can tell you that they also come with their own set of challenges.

Enter Reset. Your $150 per month unlimited pass gets you access to all their locations (currently Nightcap, plus Tillery Kitchen & Bar and L'oca d'oro starting in September, and whatever restaurants join up next), plus perks like unlimited caffeination and access to member events like group lunches and a supper club for those of us who might miss the camaraderie of traditional office life. One can only hope a softball team is next.

The idea is to create a space that benefits restaurants by providing an alternative revenue stream to offset rising rent and labor costs in our growing city, and benefits freelancers by forcing us to occasionally put on pants. I can’t say I love the pants thing, but any excuse to get out of the house and actually do some work feels like a good idea to me. And helping Austin restaurants survive and thrive in a challenging growth economy? That’s definitely worth getting dressed up for.

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Nightcap, coworking space, startup

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