Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hold the Coffee @ Beans Coffee Shop

Yes, I asked my boyfriend to model in the photo.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To read the latest posts on Simon’s coffee shop adventures, visit his blog at

Does it surprise anyone that the first indie coffee shop in my crusade is located inside the News-Herald’s coverage area?

What's surprising, however, is I hadn’t visited Beans Coffee Shop at 121 Main St., in Chardon, until my boyfriend, Matt, and I swung down there Saturday, Nov. 23, amid a typical Geauga County snow storm. (Coffee is best served with lake effect snow. Always.)

I’ve been dying to check the place out since a source asked to meet him there once this summer. It didn't happen because the coffee shop closes at 5 p.m. on weekdays. (It's even closed the whole day on Sundays.) On Saturday, the shop is open until 8 p.m., according to what Matt and I read on their website. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Beans at 4:40 p.m., the shop was just ready to close for the day. The nice clerk behind the counter said management still needed to update the site with its winter hours. Despite all that, Matt and I tried to make the best of our visit.

The place is great to visit, even for just 15 minutes, and below I've elaborated on some of its charms:

If I was weak-minded enough to give out star-ratings, I would give the historic Chardon Square five stars for its pedestrian-focused design and yet tranquil rural setting. Beans nestles very seamlessly into the strip of shops, restaurants and businesses around the square. Access to parking is easy from the street, which evades the winter torrent all too common in Northeast Ohio. It makes me wish I worked in Chardon Square.

Food and Beverage:
The coffee does come in mugs, but because
we got their so late we had to stick to Styrofoam.
Beans’ menu for coffee and non-coffee beverages is nothing to text your hipster competitors about. It is everything you would expect in a coffee shop that also serves ice cream. (Fun Fact: The ice cream is from Cincinnati-based Graeter’s.) With that said, Beans does offer a wider-than-expected menu of food options for breakfast and lunch. Despite visiting near the end of its operations, Beans had a fair selection of pastries. Matt and I indulged in a peanut-butter-and-chocolate brownie bigger than a stack of note cards, and together with two large coffees, we only spent six bucks and change.

Atmosphere and Space:
Maybe it was because the Holiday season was upon us with snowflakes dusting through Geauga County, but I felt a festive vibe at Beans that evening. The mocha-colored walls and warm accents invited closeness and conversation. Its ceiling fixtures and sky lights are warm and refreshing.  More importantly, Beans takes no modesty in decorating for the holidays. Beans is a great place to catch up with friends—maybe no more than a group of six or seven, mind you.  I didn’t have the time to see how well Beans does in a work-environment, but most certainly, my boyfriend did confirm the shop has working Wi-Fi.

Despite all of the design and decorations that went into its interior, the winner of the day was finding this gem of a coffee table pictured below, salvaged from old bricks and resurrected with modern glass.  Doesn’t everyone just want something like that in their living room?

I wish I shot a better photo.

P.S.: I am going to try to post each new blog entry on Sundays. Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.

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