The diminutive coffee shop is a throwback to a simpler time.
The Bean is a throwback to a simpler time in the world of coffee.
The diminutive Clintonville coffee shop specializes in a few assorted beverages: a traditional roast, decaf, grog, hot chocolate, chai and other assorted teas.
"I just think people are ready to come in and get a good cup of coffee," said Susan Shepherd, who owns the shop with her son, John Smathers.
But it's not just any ordinary cup of java: It's a proprietary blend from Seven Hills Coffee, a roaster in Cincinnati.
The store, 219 Arcadia Ave., is subleasing the space formerly occupied by the Salt Mines, which recently moved to Indianola Avenue.
The space, with a light wooden floor and painted in bright, cheery colors, seats about eight customers, who have access to free Wi-Fi.
Food service includes muffins, scones and cupcakes from Four and Twenty Blackbird, located on nearby Indianola Avenue. There also are sandwiches made on premises, plus pasta salad and hummus.
Shepherd said she wants to introduce homemade soups in the future.
The gregarious shop owner said she's spent 35 years in the retail industry, mostly in department stores. She said it took a while to get used to regular contact with customers. Now, she can't imagine the alternative.
"When I was growing up, I used to walk across the street so I wouldn't have to talk to you," she said.
"People say that's the most incredible story, but it's true."
She retired last year and intended to retreat from the workforce, taking a leisurely approach to life. Her son, a wine rep, suggested they open a coffee shop.
"He said, 'Come and look at this place with me,' " she said.
"We came over and started talking to people over here. It was so interesting.
"People were so excited for us to do it," Shepherd said. "I said, 'Yeah, I think that will work out very well,' but it took a little while."
There are certainly plenty of java options in the immediate area, including Tim Hortons, Cup O Joe and Yeah, Me Too.
Shepherd said she's not worried about the competition, but had some anxiety about the location, which isn't a high-profile spot.
"I didn't really get nervous until our opening," she said. "I looked outside and wondered if anybody's going to come in this place."
The Bean is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sunday. For more information, call 614-563-9383.