Figure 8 Expands to North Loop
The coffee shop opened quietly at 4631 Airport Blvd.
By Haris Qureshi,
2:29PM, Tue. Nov. 14, 2023
Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors co-owners Kathleen Carmichael and Ryan Hall first opened their coffeehouse at 1111 Chicon St. near Huston-Tillotson in 2014, and the success of that original location spurred them to expand the business.
During the pandemic lockdown, they grew the roasting part of their business, selling to other local places like Better Half, Brew and Brew, and Little Brother. Now they’ve opened a second location in central Austin, at 4631 Airport Blvd.
Hall says of their single-origin coffee, “We source all of our coffees with an importer on Sixth and Chicon called Falcon Coffees. Most importing companies tend to be coastal... New York or Seattle or L.A. or the Bay. Ours is here and is five blocks away [from the original location] so we can literally just walk down the hill and cup coffees and evaluate coffees.”
The previous tenant at their new location, Sweet Ritual, had to shut down because of rising costs due to the pandemic as well as the war in Ukraine. “The way we learned about this space was from a really good friend of ours, Michael Regino, who owns SHED [a barber shop]. He had opened up next door and was like ‘Hey guys, this space is more or less a fully built out cafe if you guys would be interested,’” says Hall. “We wanted to share what we do with other parts of town that we enjoy and we have ambition to grow and do new things.”
Hall and Carmichael both grew up in Austin and have developed a reputation as coffee enthusiasts, working at places like Thunderbird Coffee, Cenote, and Houndstooth as well as having been musicians in the city for a long time (Ryan has tour managed for Voxtrot and Kathleen played in a band called Feathers that toured with Depeche Mode).
Carmichael adds that they eventually plan to have later hours and add some light bites to the menu. “We also have this really fun natural wine program. We have it at the other shop as well. We want to extend the hours so that people can get great coffee even later around here and they also have somewhere to enjoy and have a glass of wine and then something that pairs well in the evening, like charcuterie boards. Something that’s pretty simple but really well done for a menu meal,” she says.
Figure 8’s inviting and vibey aesthetic has carried over to their North Loop location, providing a comfortable space where patrons can relax. In just a week’s time, it’s already become a hot spot for people to meet up and grab some coffee or wine, and there’s no doubt that foot traffic will only pick up once they bring their food menu up so stop by now before everyone finds out about it and the space becomes packed from open to close.
Figure 8 is open daily from 7am to 7pm.