The appeal of a neighborhood coffee shop

That third place

The Bean Counter brings art and coffee to Reynard Way in Mission Hills.
  • The Bean Counter brings art and coffee to Reynard Way in Mission Hills.

Third wave shops and coffee roasters have proliferated rapidly the past several years in San Diego, but a flurry of recent openings in the first quarter of this year shows the idea of a neighborhood coffee shop still has appeal to small business owners.

Brew Coffee Spot

Brew Coffee Spot

6101 Lake Murray Boulevard, La Mesa

La Mesa resident Joe Paraiso says he and his wife had been kicking around the idea of opening a coffee shop for some time when they met Ralf Wilkowski at a party. A year later, they opened Brew Coffee Spot together. At 2300 square feet, “We went kind of big,” says Paraiso, noting “We wanted to accommodate students and people who like to work in a coffee shop.” Between interior and patio, there’s room for more than 100 customers to work, study, or catch live jazz on Thursday and Friday evenings. The Spot serves organic coffee from Barrio Logan roaster Café Virtuoso.

The Bean Counter

The Bean Counter

2655 Reynard Way, Mission Hills

In south Mission Hills, an accountant is behind the March opening of The Bean Counter. Brian Richter and wife Valentine Viannay opened the small coffee bar in the vacant storefront next to her artist studio. It seemed a natural fit to Richter, who worked in coffee shops more than a decade prior to becoming a bookkeeper, including Twiggs coffeehouse on Park Boulevard. “I’m a fan of that neighborhood coffee spot,” he says, “We wanted to sort of capture that… the concept of a third place. You’ve got home, you’ve got work, and then you’ve got a third place to spend your time.”

He’s building a deck to add outdoor seating, and serving North County’s Revolution Roasters daily.

Burly and the Bean

Burly and the Bean

3014 Columbine Street, City Heights

City Farmers Nursery

3110 Euclid Avenue, City Heights

It’s been nearly two years since Justin and Vanessa Boone opened for business in their Azalea Park section of City Heights, with a coffee cart called Burly and the Bean. In the time since, they’ve built a small outdoor café, and in mid-April they opened a second location nearby, at City Farmers Nursery. While they’ve created an artsy, garden setting with their first location, at City Farmers they won’t have to — guests will find seating scattered throughout the nursery’s many plants. Burly serves organic Mexican and Sumatran coffees contract roasted for them by El Cajon’s Daymar Artisan Coffee Roasters.

Coffee Hub & Café

Coffee Hub & Cafe

2907 Shelter Island Drive #107, Point Loma

On Shelter Island, couple Andy and Sandy Hanshaw delved into coffee in March with the opening of Coffee Hub & Café. He runs the San Diego County Bike Coalition, and she’s operated a restaurant, The Wine Pub. Coffee Hub is itself a marriage of the couple’s interests, opening next door to the restaurant, assembled with unfinished wood and cycling-themed decor. “We blended rustic and modern elements to create a bike-friendly hot spot for the community to call its own,” says Sandy. They serve coffee from their Point Loma neighbors, Swell Coffee.

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Art & Coffee - Welcome to the neighborhood Brian and Valentine! We're lucky to have you here and love the Saturday croissants. Jim & Lori

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