Dichotomy’s downtown shop offers new brew for Wacoans

Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits in downtown Waco will open their new location at 508 Austin st. soon.  Jill Swartzentruber | Lariat Photographer
Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits in downtown Waco will open their new location at 508 Austin st. soon.
Jill Swartzentruber | Lariat Photographer
By Michael Davidson

The coffee in Waco just got a little bit better.

Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits, which ran out of Croft Art Gallery for the past year, finally opened its doors last week at its own official storefront on Austin Avenue in downtown Waco.

The specialty coffee shop, which also serves food and alcoholic beverages, was founded with the mindset of bringing a high-grade product to its customers while giving them a comfortable, unique environment in which to enjoy it.

“We wanted to create a place that we would want to hang out at,” said barista Cody Ferguesson. “We love good specialty coffee, and there wasn’t really that level of quality in Waco. We wanted to expose the community to all the awesome coffee that’s out there.”

The new shop houses a large indoor seating area with couches and tables and also offers a large outdoor patio upstairs where patrons can enjoy their drinks surrounded by views of both the Capital Building and the famous Alico Building.

Ferguesson said the staff at Dichotomy is focused on the quality of beverages they serve.

Everything is brewed manually by the cup, he said, and a primary goal of theirs is to roast the beans and prepare the coffee in a way that brings out the natural flavor, eliminating the need for condiments such as cream or sugar. They do have it available for whoever may need it, though.

The concept of Dichotomy is also partially influenced by many shops in Austin that serve the same type of product and have a similar aesthetic, Ferguesson said.

“All of us have a lot of friends in Austin and have definitely driven back and forth between here and there just for good coffee or just for drinks,” Ferguesson said. “There’s definitely a influence of ideas coming from that culture.”

He said the new coffee house has experienced much success in its first week of business. Though that is certainly a positive thing, he said, it does create a certain stress and forces the staff to learn exactly how to handle a large number of orders and how to serve large crowds.

“We’ve got everything set up and functioning well, but until you’re faced with a line out the door, which we have been, you don’t know exactly how you’re going to operate,” Ferguesson said. “Part of it is just figuring it all out. There’s always a little bit of a learning curve there.”

Many Wacoans and Baylor students alike have already enjoyed the services and products of Dichotomy, and some even see it as a refreshing alternative to other similar places already established in the city.

“Dichotomy is really unique and cool because there’s nothing else really quite like it in the area,” said Mission Viejo, Calif., junior Jordyn Bode. “Common Grounds has always been the coffee staple in Waco, and while I still love Common Grounds and think it’s a wonderful place, Dichotomy has a different vibe and offers different products than anyone else around here.”

Though it is a lot of work, Ferguesson said, the staff and owners of Dichotomy are enjoying their move from a small corner in a local art gallery to their own, large-scale store.

While there is always concern when opening a new enterprise, their passion and ultimate goal of a high-quality product and service is pushing them onward, and Ferguesson hopes it will also bring them success in the future.

“There’s always risks trying to open a business,” Ferguesson said. “We wanted to open a place that we liked and that was unlike anything already here. If you have too much hesitation or too many nerves regarding anything, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. We decided to just dive in.”