From the first moment you step into Bean‘s open, sunlit space at 1138 Goss Ave., we’re convinced you’ll feel right at home. And according to owner and resident coffee roaster, Billy Seckman, that’s the intent. “This place is about community,” he explains from behind the counter. “We want to connect with the neighborhood and the people in it in any way we can,” and making anyone who walks through the door feel welcome right away seems to be the first step in building that connection.

Welcome to Bean, located on the Schnitzelburg side of the corner of Texas and Goss Avenues. Housed in a late-19th century building clearly built as a classic storefront from the start, the interior has been stripped down and restored in a way that clearly evokes what must be a storied Germantown past. With its bank of front windows, high ceilings and white-painted walls, with the perfect infusion of green accents, Bean’s interior feels clean, open and airy. Add a mix of wood-topped tables with carefully selected vintage chairs alongside thrift store artwork finds for warmth, and you’ve got a place that captures the spirit of a newly revived Germantown.

Bean coffee shop on the corner of Goss and Texas Avenues in Germantown is the neighborhood's new community gathering spot.

Bean coffee shop on the corner of Goss and Texas avenues in Germantown is the neighborhood’s new community gathering spot.

And this stretch of Germantown definitely needed a great place to pick up coffee. Goss Avenue is dotted with a growing and popular list of bars and restaurants (which we wrote about earlier this week), but with the influx of new housing and uptick in new neighbors, a coffee shop within walkable distance is definitely a boon for the area. When Bean opened in late-July of 2016, the buzz could be heard throughout the neighborhood and beyond, and for good reason. Not only is Bean a lovely place to just hang out, but the coffee and food are delicious as well. We think it lives up to all expectations.

All of Bean’s coffee is roasted in-house — we love the bottomless cup of drip coffee served up in a vintage mug for just $3.50, and the espresso drink lineup stays simple and classic. There are a few syrups to add, if you insist, made in small batches in-house. To-go coffees are served one size only because, as Billy explains, “We really want to keep things simple here, and that’s one less thing for a customer to have to decide.”

Billy, who has more than 10 years of coffee-roasting experience, roasts Bean coffee on the premises in the back half of the building. A glass garage door keeps the back just as light-filled as the front, and a gorgeous green roaster shares the space with even more seating for quiet conversations or caffeine-propelled work sessions. “I roast every week and make just enough for that week,” he says. “Our bags don’t stay on the shelves long.”

Pick up a bag of your favorite Bean coffee, roasted in-house by owner Billy Seckman.

Pick up a bag of your favorite Bean coffee, roasted in-house by owner Billy Seckman.

But coffee isn’t the only thing on the menu at Bean. A glass-front bakery case is filled daily with pastries and bagels from local favorites like Wiltshire Bakery and Nancy’s Bagels. A rotating mix of fresh smoothies are available and made with as many local ingredients as possible — Billy was using local baby kale from area farm Lost Creek Acres when we visited — as well as house-made curry tuna, soup specials, a Mediterranean sandwich (our favorite) and more. Prices range from between $5 and $9.

Bean’s emphasis on using locally sourced products is an extension of Billy’s focus on using his business to build community. If he can’t make it himself, he makes it a priority to make sure he finds the best product available nearby. He spent many years working in Louisville’s restaurant industry, and those connections are important for him to maintain. The working ethos of Bean is to support as many folks in his community as possible. The success of others in the industry can only help his business as well.

Bean offers a rotating selection of locally-sourced pastries and other baked goods.

Bean offers a rotating selection of locally sourced pastries and other baked goods.

Bean's owner, Billy Seckman, with his always-welcoming staff.

Bean’s owner, Billy Seckman, with his always-welcoming staff. Image: Bean

The decor at Bean is light-filled, airy and welcoming. Walls are dotted with original art and vintage finds.

The decor at Bean is light-filled, airy and welcoming. Walls are dotted with original art and vintage finds.

But one of the most compelling aspects of Bean is its strong connection to the community. Billy, his wife Megan, and his two school-aged children worked hard together to get the shop up on its feet. The family has lived in Germantown, on a street just a few blocks away, for a little over 12 years. Adding to the community where they have put down roots is incredibly important to the whole family. Now that the shop is open and the beans are roasting, Billy is branching out to add even more to the community. He’s recently added donation-based yoga classes on Sunday mornings and will soon be part of a new, Germantown-based farmers market, scheduled to open in mid-spring of 2017.

The back room at Bean houses additional seating alongside the coffee roaster. A glass garage door keeps the room filled with natural light.

The back room at Bean houses additional seating alongside the coffee roaster. A glass garage door keeps the room filled with natural light.

A cozy spot for coffee and conversation at Bean invites customers to sit and stay awhile.

A cozy spot for coffee and conversation at Bean invites customers to sit and stay awhile.

Step inside Bean for a perfect cup of coffee and a bag of your favorite roast to take home.

Step inside Bean for a perfect cup of coffee and a bag of your favorite roast to take home. Image: Bean

These really are exciting times in Germantown. With Bean, the neighborhood has gained a great gathering spot for delicious, locally made coffee and food. The shop exudes a welcoming spirit that’s a perfect fit for the neighborhood.

Thanks to Billy and his team for spending time answering questions and showing us around their inviting space. We can’t wait to stop by soon for more delicious coffee and conversation.

Bean is located at 1138 Goss Ave., Louisville, KY 40217. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find out more by calling (502) 785-4079 or visit Bean on their Facebook page

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