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AUSTIN EDITION Tableside with Brigette Rambadt of the Brick House Coffee House

AUSTIN EDITION Tableside with Brigette Rambadt of the Brick House Coffee House

By Matt Russell

mrussell@postbulletin.com

When Brigette Rambadt opened the Brick House in Austin three years ago with her mother, D.J. Gorman, she first used the space to teach yoga and Pilates classes. restaurant business p By Matt Russell

mrussell@postbulletin.com

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When Brigette Rambadt opened the Brick House in Austin three years ago with her mother, D.J. Gorman, she first used the space to teach yoga and Pilates classes.

Almost a year ago, however, the mother-daughter team made the transition to opening the space as a full-time cafe.

How would you describe your place to someone who's never been there?

I would say it is an original coffee house, and there are so few of those left. It's just such a comfortable place, you just want to stay, and it's like an oasis. And that's how we feel about it even now, we go inside and everything else -- it's like taking a mini-vacation.

Tell me a little bit about the building.

It was built in 1858 and was set for demolition in 1984, but the only reason it didn't was concerned citizens got to the courthouse while the crew was on their lunch hour and got a petition in to stop it. If they hadn't gone exactly when they had gone, it would have been knocked down for a parking lot. In fact, when we were trying to buy it just three years ago, there was a party interested in knocking it down for a parking lot.

Austin has a thing about parking lots -- can't get enough of 'em. And what's really sad is they'll take pictures of historic Austin places that they've knocked down for parking lots and hang them up, like, 'Look what we knocked down!' (Laughs.) It just doesn't make sense.

It (The Brickhouse) was built by the same architect who built the historic Hormel home, long before he built the Hormel home. So it has a lot of really important things to offer to Austin, and right now, they're really talking a lot about downtown redevelopment and stuff, and yet they continually still miss us and other places that are historically important as they're talk about the history of Austin. It's kind of funny.

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Do you have time to teach yoga and Pilates classes anymore?

I have a lot of my students coming in all of the time and asking me, and I have to figure out when, because I totally miss it, too. We have talked about about trying to get workshops and stuff, but there is so much going on in my life right now that I'm like, you know what, as a yoga teacher I know I can't commit until I'm ready to, because you can't have a yoga teacher who's stressed out (laughs). But hopefully again real soon.

The Brick House Coffee House is at 412 Third Ave. N.E. in Austin.

What's good at the Brick House Coffee House?

Rambadt recommends the espresso, meat pies, homemade soups, the berry berry turkey sandwich, the portabella mushroom salad, the spinach salad and smoothies.

Have a local restaurant personality you'd like to see interviewed? Send suggestions to mrussell@postbulletin.com or 285-7712.

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