A coffee shop on South Congress Avenue is on a mission to be a cozy community hub where people of Austin can satisfy their sweet tooth.

The backstory

Retired Austin ISD employee Lisa Jackson said she always knew she wanted to open a coffee shop when she left the school district but wasn’t sure what else to offer. During a visit to Lubbock in 2019, she and her husband, Basil, visited a build-your-own dessert cafe called Pie Bar on the recommendation of a friend.

They enjoyed it so much, they wanted to bring it home to Austin.

The Jacksons, who have lived in South Austin since the 1990s, opened Pie Bar on South Congress in May 2021. The original Pie Bar in Lubbock closed in 2022, leaving the Austin location to be the only location still standing.

On the menu

Pie Bar offers pies, cheesecakes, cookies and mousse cups. With each dessert, customers have a large selection of fillings, such as Oreo or cookie dough mousse and blueberry cobbler. Toppings include classics such as chocolate chips, pecans, fruit or flavored syrup.

Everything is made in-house, including the pie crusts, fillings and some of the toppings. The 6-inch cookies are also baked fresh daily and can be ordered “dressed” with scoops of mousse.

The drink menu includes coffee and espresso drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos and cortados. Lisa Jackson said all the coffee comes from Austin Roasting Company in Bastrop.

What’s special about it?

Lisa Jackson said Pie Bar’s extensive menu is part of the appeal. She said the unique concept creates a fun experience for both the customer and the person making their pie.

“People come in and they expect just traditional pie,” Lisa Jackson said. “When we explain that they can build their own out of any of the fillings that we have and they can taste the fillings first before they build it, they just get really excited.”

Aside from the desserts, Pie Bar’s atmosphere offers a cozy feel with couch seating, a fireplace, cards, board games, free Wi-Fi and jazz playing on the speakers. Lisa Jackson said it’s quiet in the afternoon and gets busier in the evenings when people go to get their post-dinner treat.

Pie Bar’s catering options include cobbler pans, mousse cups, a build-your-own mini-pie station and more.