Local artist and entertainer Frankie Reyna sees Milky Coffee Bar as his love letter to the community. A coffee shop beyond coffee, the beginning of a good day and a safe space for all, the new spot brings warmth to both the mug and the people of the Coastal Bend.
“A lot of people have coffee on a daily basis. It is a necessity for so many,” Reyna said. “If it is such a need and an everyday expectation, let’s bring some personality into it! Let’s bring some culture to it; let’s bring some excitement to it.”
Though it’s a coffee bar at its core, Reyna intended Milky to extend so much further than just a cup of joe. The drinks are a collection of hot takes on many cafe classics, partly originating from nostalgia for his and his generation’s collective childhood memories.
The menu features small-batch specialty coffee and all the classics such as cold brew and americanos, as well as rotating tasty innovations. The Strawberry Milky Horchata is a homemade pink drink that may invoke a memory of the first time you tried strawberry milk. There’s also a banana pudding number that folks will definitely want to try, complete with cinnamon syrup-soaked bananas, crispy Texas-made wafers and a Mexican vanilla mousse. “Everything has a little bit of flair and a little bit of personality — maybe you’re then able to find your new favorite, and it becomes a part of who you are now,” Reyna said.
Though Reyna has been a successful entrepreneur in the Coastal Bend with varying business ventures, he put extra love into designing every aspect of his first coffee shop with care. Milky Coffee Bar features white walls and coffee tones contrasting the onyx counter finish. As an artist of multiple mediums, Reyna wanted the space to give off a chic-yet-zen atmosphere where he would want to hang out, with menu items he’d personally order.
He also credits the support and insight given by Evana Reyna, his sister and Riptide Salon owner. The shop’s name was actually from a suggestion she had made.
Once the vision was clear, the design elements and details followed. The shop has an accent wall, warm lighting fixtures and a rustic cottage sliding door.
All in all, Milky Coffee Bar is a celebration of community and a safe space for the queer community. When opening the shop, Reyna decided this would be “a place for the weirdos, a place for the queerdos, a place for the disenfranchised, for the misunderstood.”
He continued, “I want people to [feel comfortable doing things such as] having their first queer date here or maybe this be the first place they run to when they were going through a breakup. I want this to be a place people can go to where they can walk in having the worst day, and with a drink, a sandwich and a smile … their day just got better.”