Paulie’s Counter Culture – Cole Kirby

As promised, I am releasing a “resume” of each of my 10 Baristas at Paulie’s, one per week. We have a talented bunch behind our counter, I’d like to share their stories with you all.


Our newest story comes from our newest employee, who is excelling quickly.



Cole grew up in a town of less than 1,200 people and graduated high school in a class of 34 students. Naturally, he moved from the rural community near Waco to Austin so he could attend one of the most diverse schools in the world: the University of Texas at Austin, “Hook ‘Em!” After three and a half years of stress, fun, growing, and possibly even some learning, Cole graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies in December of 2013.

During his final semester at UT, Cole was constantly pondering what would follow this college career. With a desire to eventually pastor and possibly plant a church, but not much desire to leave undergrad to enter into a seminary program, he found myself in between a rock and a hard place. Cole wanted excitement and training in doing pastoral ministry. On one particular weekend, he made the drive to Houston to visit a best friend from college. His friend lived in this really funky neighborhood called Montrose and was serving at a new church plant called Sojourn Montrose. Moreover, he was living with the pastor and his wife. As Cole met folks in the neighborhood and heard more about this church plant in the urban center of such a large and diverse city, he knew that this was the experience he needed moving forward.

So, in the first week of January 2014 Cole moved to Montrose to live in a stranger’s dining room, and two days later he began training at Paulie’s. Between the demands and excitements that come with being part of a new church in a neighborhood that is largely without churches, working a new job with an excellent team, and diving head first into the culture of Montrose, Cole seems to be right at home.

His interests and free time in Houston mostly revolve around seeing Sojourn Montrose, conveniently officed on Sundays in the loft directly above Paulie’s, reach their unique neighborhood in a way that is positive and transformative. Cole also love sports, most notably baseball. Through high school, he played 2nd base, centerfield, and shortstop. He also coached a high school summer league team for young men from Lanier High School in Austin.

Cole fills his days off with eating good food, reading good books, being around good people, and playing bad golf. He loves being a part of the Montrose culture not only by working in the food industry, but also through supporting local bars and restaurants.

“My hope is that in my time here in Houston, whether for two years or the rest of my life is that this would be a city not only known for its diversity and economic success, but also one known for setting an example in grace and truth. I truly count it as a blessing to work at Paulie’s and enjoy all of the spoils of being a new Houstonian.”

Great to have you buddy.

About pauliepetro

Restaurateur, Connector, and Food & Beverage community supporter View all posts by pauliepetro

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