The South Austin Church of the Nazarene has been an anchor of this neighborhood for decades. Hundreds, if not thousands of commuters and neighbors pass by on this busy stretch of Manchaca Road. But for the first time, its parking lot now has steady traffic during the weekday.
I spoke with the barista about the new location and he told me the business is steady and growing. And how did they connect with the church? He said the owners knew this area didn’t have a good coffeeshop close by. The trailer had been located at their Hwy 290 property while their permanent building was under construction. Once it opened, they went looking for a good place in this neighborhood. “They approached the church and asked if we could put our trailer here, and they agreed!”
So the gourmet coffee group gets a great new location for its food truck business. The church gets some rent for what is otherwise an empty parking lot. And I have a good excuse now to stop in and see Pastor Randall Wyles whom I haven’t visited in a number of years.
But the big news here is that the church is now attracting a broad public to its property. I don’t expect many coffee drinkers to suddenly become church members. But I do think that commuters and neighbors will begin to see the South Austin Church differently as a civic institution and valuable community resource.