Beloved Cafe Calypso Expands Downtown - The Bend Magazine

The Beloved Cafe Calypso Expands Downtown

Calypso Starr Street Cafe offers curated wine and beer, signature coffees, small plates and pastries, all at their new location

A cup of coffee and homemade cheesecake from Cafe Calypso at their new Starr St. location in downtown Corpus Christi.

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Cafe Calypso, the beloved coffee house of Moore Plaza for 30 years, has opened the doors of its brand-new location in Downtown Corpus Christi. While long-time patrons have come to love the communal, casual atmosphere and live music at the original spot, the new locale isn’t just a copy; it boasts an entirely updated cafe/bar experience reminiscent of the places on every European street corner. Not a coffee shop, but not a bar, either … Calypso Starr Street Cafe marries both with a curated selection of wine, beer and signature Calypso coffees, plus small plates and pastries.

Expanding the Calypso experience was a dream of owners Marcy Okumus and her late husband Erdal. “Erdal and I had always talked about opening a wine and tapas place as a second business venture. So I thought, ‘Why not? I’ll do this, and I’ll tackle it, and it’d be an homage to Erdal. I’ll have some fun with it,’” Okumus said.

Cafe Calypso's owner Marcy Okumus sits in the cafe's new downtown Corpus Christi location.
Marcy Okumus and her late husband Erdal opened Cafe Calypso in Corpus Christi 30 years ago.

Her goal is to create an overall international feel for patrons. Okumus worked with a local representative to curate a selection of 12 red wines and 10 white/rosé wines, while the beer options include local brews and IPAs as well as imported varieties from Belgium, Germany, Jamaica, Ireland, France and Mexico. As for the coffee, the new location will offer Turkish, Vietnamese and Cuban-style coffees in addition to the standard espresso beverages locals are accustomed to. Visitors can expect wine flights to be available soon, as well, another unique aspect of the new venture.

An added bonus comes in the form of local artwork lining the shop’s walls, thanks to its neighbor, K Space Contemporary.

The Okumuses were passionate about the roasting aspect of coffee and the ritualistic nature of enjoying a cup with others, which became cornerstones of the original Cafe Calypso. “My husband Erdal and I built the business before coffee and coffeehouses were a phenomenon here, but we had moved from Turkey, where they boast the first coffee house, in Istanbul, centuries ago,” Okumus said. “Cafe Calypso was a place for people from all cultures and backgrounds to meet and share ideas over coffee.”  Calypso Starr Street embodies this concept, mixed with a little mezze experience. With an emphasis on small plates and sophisticated beverages, the new shop offers a unique menu from its scratch kitchen and worldly desserts as decadent as ever — all with a wide-windowed, open view of Starr Street.

With overflowing community support, Okumus has been able to open Calypso Starr Street Cafe in the evening, and she’s excited to bring back the live music part of the shop’s culture. If you are in search of a quaint cafe experience complete with specialty beverages, Cafe Calypso Starr Street Cafe is the spot for you.

Looking for more Drinks? Check out Local Breweries and Their Moods and Brews for the Season or Milky Coffee Bar Opens on the Southside of Corpus Christi.