1887.

That’s all I needed to know when I first started reading about Cenote, a new cafe on Cesar Chavez in East Austin, a stone’s throw from Top Dawgs, one of my favorite local dive bars.

1887 is the year the former home that Cenote occupies was built. Walking into the little cafe the first thing that hits is the smell. Divine.

Like you were poking around in your great aunt’s attic and opened up a steamer trunk that hadn’t seen the light of day since the Mckinley administration

The rehab on the old structure has clearly been done with care. Everything is gleaming and glowing and looks like it has been loved, buffed and polished til the cows came home.

Bags of Cuvee Coffee are in a glass case at the counter indicating that the current movement toward local products is being observed.

I’ve had numerous cups of coffee today so I order a Real Ale pint [$4] and make my way outside to take in some night air.

A couple scrawny punk girls are drinking wine and chain smoking on the front porch, a gang of dog care providers have brought the hounds out and requisitioned a picnic table on the side patio and yet another side patio is wholly unoccupied.

It’s a peaceful little scene.

I keep wondering when Austin will reach maximum density on coffee shops but it appears like that day is far off. As I sit outside and reconnoiter, a steady stream of neighborhood folks stroll in and grab coffees and beers til finally nearly every single table is taken.

It’s way too early in the game to issue any proclamation on Cenote. I’ll have to see if they can pull shots, put out good treats, keep the beers cold and well poured, refrain from hiring loud mouthed baristas….any number of criteria must be met if they’re going to crop up on the weekly rotation of coffee/beer hangouts.

But their joint sure does smell fine.

all Austin Daily Photos http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Austin-Daily-Photo

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