Matt Lacey said he built his business, Cafe Java, on a model of service, not just to his customers, but to his employees.

“Nobody works for me, I work for them,” Lacey said. “I train them, give you what you need to do your job and get out of the way.”

Since opening the first location of Cafe Java on Metric Boulevard in Austin in 1994, Lacey said he has operated the restaurant as a focal point for neighborhood gathering and support. In 2004, he opened a second location in the Town Centre shopping center in Round Rock, not anticipating that he would soon have to purchase additional high chairs.

“We had all these young folks that were starting families out there, and all the new neighborhoods that were being developed,” Lacey said. “That was a real spark for me.”

With a philosophy of service and dedication to his team shaped by his time in the Air Force, he said he has built his business into a community of long-time employees. Vicky Edwards, a manager who works at both locations, has worked in Lacey’s businesses for 27 years.

Edwards said the restaurant has become its own sort of neighborhood, with customers and employees growing up in it over the years.

“We treat customers like family from the moment they walk in the door,” she said. “ I don't care where you come from, who you are, whatever. If you come in, I'm gonna treat you like one of my kids.”

The restaurant and coffee shop offers a wide variety of breakfast items served all day, including tacos, pancakes and omelets. One popular mainstay, the Java plate, comes with two eggs, two bacon strips, hash browns, toast and coffee or tea for $8.78. Lacey said this particular plate hasn’t changed much in content or price, as he wants his customers to be able to afford to eat at Cafe Java as often as they please.

In addition to breakfast, the menu includes salads, burgers and specialty coffee beverages. It is also known for its chalkboard menu, which Lacey said is updated regularly with previous specials and new ideas from customers and staff alike.

Lacey said he is living his boyhood dream of owning a cafe, and doesn’t anticipate any major changes in the future of either location. He said the highest compliment is having a customer move away, come back, and find that nothing about the restaurant has changed.

“We strive to keep things the same while also being very adaptive,” he said.

Cafe Java

2051 Gattis School Rd. Ste. 120, Round Rock

Facebook: Cafe Java Round Rock


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.