The coffee shop with a d-bag tax

Photos by Kathy Tran.

Owners Mark and Adam Lowes want LDU Coffee to feel more like a sports bar than a study hall.

They blast hip-hop over the speakers Saturday mornings. They memorize customers’ names and orders. Laptops certainly are allowed, but they’d prefer you bring your friends instead.

“We want to feel a pulse,” Adam says.

LDU is the Lowes brothers’ first foray into the American coffee scene. They ran espresso bars for a decade in Western Australia, where, incidentally, Texans often ventured in. One suggested they open up shop in the Lone Star State. The Lowes already loved the blues, craft beer and tacos.

“We legit feel like we were born here,” Mark says. 

For six months, they scouted locations in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas before choosing a space below a Fitzhugh Avenue apartment complex. The area of East Dallas met all of their requirements: walkable, near a major highway and without an independent coffee shop.

“We never talked about anywhere but Dallas,” Mark says. “We liked the feeling and general optimism of the city.” 

LDU’s menu follows a simple formula: find something people enjoy and do it right every time, Mark says. They offer lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos and mochas made with White Rock Coffee beans, although they speak fluent Starbucks and will customize anyone’s order. Grilled sandwiches include the vegetarian Beam Me Up, Scotty ($7) and the turkey-cheddar-and-aioli Sí Sí ($7).

“We just make good coffee,” Mark says. “We’re not going to win people over doing lavish lattes.”

Australian coffee culture borrows heavily from Italy, where grabbing a cup is a social endeavor.  Mark hopes LDU brings a slice of that culture to East Dallas and serves as a grab-and-go alternative to Starbucks. 

“We’re hoping to bring something more vibrant and with a little more movement to the scene,” he says.

Did You Know: A sign near LDU’s menu jokingly charges Market Price for d-bags and $3 for WiFi. LDU, by the way, does not stand for “Land Down Under.” It’s three random letters that they chose during a spark of alcohol-induced creativity, co-owner Mark Lowes says.

LDU Coffee

2650 Fitzhugh Ave.

lducoffee.com

Hours: 

7 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays

8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays


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