New San Antonio dog-friendly cafe has busy weekend after viral TikTok video
San Antonio’s latest addition to the brunch scene is already making waves – and it’s just getting started.
Dalia Aponte, owner of Cool Beans Cafe, said she was shocked at the number of locals who showed up for brunch last weekend. After only having experience as a server, Aponte was amazed at the increase in customers until a woman told her she had heard about the cafe on TikTok.
“We honestly didn’t expect such hype,” said Aponte. “We are so grateful for that.”
The video posted by local foodie @siempre_sanantonio highlighted the cafe’s biggest selling points: a dog-friendly space and a pancake sausage board. Aponte said she didn’t know how much success the breakfast-enriched board would have – especially since the idea came to her on a whim.
“It just happened,” Aponte said, explaining how she simply tossed some of the ingredients – miniature pancakes, eggs, bacon, and a mix of fruits – onto the board until she was happy with the arrangement. While her dad Daniel, who runs the business alongside her, didn’t initially get the appeal of the board, Aponte said he just wanted the item to go well.
Judging by the surge in customers thanks to the viral TikTok, it seems that it is.
The success of Cool Beans lies in the last few years. Aponte launched the concept in 2016 as a walk-in counter to measure Alamo City’s interest in coffee.
“We’re Puerto Rican, we love coffee,” she said. “We love quality, good coffee and we wanted to offer that to other people.”
The walk-through window closed after about a year, but Aponte said she learned something great: the San Antonians wanted a place where they could sit and have their coffee, not just grab it and leave. With the opening of a physical store, Aponte is excited to create a space where locals can sit, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.
“Everyone’s been through it,” she said. “We have to have a place where we can just be. Be happy, comfortable, and just slow down. “
Aponte wants the entire menu to reflect the San Antonio food scene and local businesses. In addition to coffee and the pancake board (which is currently only available on weekends), Cool Beans also offers items like breakfast rolls and avocado toast in the morning, as well as pizzas and traditional cheese-cracker sausage boards for the rest of the world day. Pastries are also available and sourced from local Sweet Baker.
When creating Cool Beans, Aponte said she wanted a destination for patrons and their pets.
“I’ve always loved animals,” said the 30-year-old. “I’ve always been the kids they saved.”
The puppies even have their own menu with a “Barkcuterie” board. Dog beer (not real beer, but a broth filled with nutrients); Pupicle; and even a dog cigar, the cafe’s favorite pet menu. Customers are welcome to bring their dog and post it on the cozy terrace of the café.
Although Aponte said the vendor she usually gets the goodies from has a delay in production due to COVID-19, in the meantime she is working with a Houston-based company to keep the goodies on the menu. A portion of the revenue is also donated to various pet advocacy groups such as CareTexas.org. Aponte says first responders and veterans can get a discount on their ticket, a decision inspired by their father’s military service.
With the craze for cool beans growing, Aponte said she was actively hiring to keep business running smoothly. In the meantime, she hopes local foodies can be patient while she and her dad get the hang of it.
“We’re still learning. We’re still finding out, ”she said. “We had no idea how excited San Antonio would be with what we had to offer.”
The Cool Beans Cafe is located at 17803 La Cantera Ter., Ste. 8123.