Waterfalls, Wildlife, and Drinks: Cosmic Coffee + Beer

Under leafy canopies to the tune of waterfalls and birds, grabbing a drink and a bite at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden in south Austin is like a picnic in the park.
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden sign and patio
Outdoor patio rainwater cistern Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
It’s an outdoor office, convivial spot to catch up with friends, and a romantic date night.
Texas Ponds and Water Features waterfall TaraRose plant design Cosmic Coffee
When CTG visited in fall 2019, founder Paul Oveisi told us the story behind his vision. “The sole concept is an homage to permaculture. This is our attempt to marry permaculture concepts with really good hospitality creating a positive impact on our physical environment,” he said.
Paul Oveisi Cosmic Cafe Central Texas Gardener
In two, busy years before opening day in January 2018, they turned ravaged land, formerly a mechanic shop, into organic food gardens and a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden patio pond
raised organic vegetable beds Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Texas Ponds and Water Features wildlife habitat waterfall Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Their land renovation allows rainwater to gently infiltrate the soil. A 2500-gallon rainwater cistern irrigates gardens and supplies the waterfalls and ponds.
Patio waterfall rainwater cistern Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
rainwater cistern Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Patrons get a cluck out of safely-enclosed fluffy hens. Cosmic staff supply garden clippings and vegetable waste to appreciative beaks and in return, go home with fresh eggs.
Chicken coop permaculture Cosmic Coffee + Beer Central Texas Gardener
Chicken manure supplements compost bins, where coffee grounds and green waste break down into rich compost that enriches the garden’s soil for thriving plants.
Compost piles permaculture design Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden Central Texas Gardener
TaraRose Macuch of Wild Heart Dirt, the designer and primary caretaker behind the gardens, noted that the biggest testament to soil restoration was finding plump earthworms.
TaraRose Macuch Wild Heart Earth Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
From the start, Paul invited Matt Boring of Texas Ponds and Water Features to orchestrate the ultimate music.
Matt Boring Texas Ponds and Water Features Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
They started near the building with a 10 x 15-foot pond and upraised waterfall for unique perspectives wherever you sit.
Texas Ponds and Water features pond on Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden patio
“The pond was the first thing that was done to the property, and Paul explained his vision that he wanted people to be able to walk in, turn to the right and they go, ‘Wow,’” Matt said.
Texas Ponds pond at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Texas Ponds soothing pond waterfall Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
TaraRose and Cosmic staff have fun tucking in little surprises.
waterfall patio pond rock design Texas Ponds Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
A few years later, Matt and his team gradually transformed an eroding and ugly bank into a stabilizing, visually stimulating living wall.
Texas Ponds and Water Features waterfall stream design Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
On the steep slope, they controlled erosion and built flat platforms to stabilize rock work and plants.
erosion control steep bank Texas Ponds and Water Features waterfall rock and plant design Cosmic Coffee
In fact, the first day we taped, we saw Matt’s team building the latest extension. It was in operation with new plants installed on our November trip.
Matt Boring Texas Ponds and Water Features team Cosmic Coffee
new installation waterfall rocks Texas Ponds and Water Features Cosmic Coffee
Three waterfalls cascade into a shared collection base, all fed with rainwater. “We’ve loved watching the diversity of species move in. It’s evolved from fire ants and rats and mosquitoes to dragonflies, and damselflies, frogs and toads and lizards,” Paul said.
erosion control steep bank Texas Ponds and Water Features waterfall design Cosmic Coffee
Designed as naturally balanced ecosystems, algae bloom is not a problem.
no algae ecological pond stream waterfall Texas Ponds and Water Features Cosmic Coffee
Fairy garden adds to waterfall design Texas Ponds and Water Features Cosmic Coffee
TaraRose anchored the steep incline with native and adapted plants. Her unified design factors in varying amounts of sunlight from one end to the other.
TaraRose plant design Texas Ponds waterfall plantings Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
At Cosmic’s entrance, walk-around raised beds grow seasonal and perennial edibles framed by trellised ‘Natchez’ blackberries.
raised vegetable design with blackberry trellis by TaraRose for Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Seasonal and evergreen herbs are popular in signature “Bar Botanical” drinks. Signs identify plants for patrons who want to try them at home. TaraRose answers their eager questions about cultivation and harvesting tips.
raised bed herbs for bar botanicals Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Food truck chefs harvest for off-menu items.
food truck patio Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Containers prompt design ideas for gardeners, too.
stock tank succulent planter Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Pink muhly grass Verbena bonariensis container plant Cosmic Coffee Central Texas Gardener
TaraRose keeps an eye out for planter potential. With recycled finds, she drills drainage holes and fills with a good potting soil mixed with a bit of aggregate like decomposed granite.
recycled salvages turned into planters Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
She creates little discovery moments with seasonal fun.
Recycled salvage planter foliar containers fall design Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Not only do containers help unite spaces, they attract your eyes to “go places.”
Clever planter design Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
steel planter for drought tolerant plants Cosmic Coffee
Planter design recycled and metal containers foliar texture patio Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
And, they make handy diversions, like in this steel container against the parking lot. Dedicated to waterwise succulents, fall flamboyant Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ always captivates focus.
steel container succulent planter Sticks on Fire euphorbia Cosmic Coffee
Fulltime staff gardeners, mentored by TaraRose, tend to the gardens daily, a commitment that Paul made from the start to spare hospitality staff from watering and routine manicuring chores.
Native crossvine hiding chainlink fence view to eyes mural Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
And since this is ATX, Willie Nelson watches over, thanks to Doug Moreland, a local musician and chainsaw sculpture artist who crafted the anchor for lighting, fans, and shade sails.
Doug Moreland Willie Nelson wood carving Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Even in summer’s heat, the recently planted mature trees are already blanketing shady comfort, assisted by misting systems (fed by the rainwater cistern).
Misting system Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden patio
Paul encourages all establishments: “Not only do you create a positive effect on the environment, but it’s also beautiful to be around, and it elevates the energy of the whole place. It may not seem it when you’re putting the business plan together, but the rewards are more than what we put in. This has been a lot of fun.”
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden entrance Central Texas Gardener
Check Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden’s hours and guidelines during pandemic times.

Many thanks to Suzanna Choffel for her music contribution “Inspire me.”

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And thank you for stopping by! See you next week, Linda