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WestBean Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Locale

The local roaster debuts its first storefront downtown.

WestBean, a local craft coffee company with a roastery on Mission Gorge, just opened its first storefront on a busy stretch of Broadway.

Sandwiched between The US Grant and The Westgate hotels, the 700-square-foot space offers a "traditional limited menu," says partner James Rauh, which includes "Broadway signatures" like housemade vanilla or salted caramel lattes, chai lattes and mochas.

The outlet, which officially opened last week at 240 Broadway, also serves Ocean Beach's Mad Monk Tea.

WestBean will remain a wholesaler to restaurants and coffee shops throughout San Diego (a recent addition: Mission Hills' Kettle & Stone).

The store has already caused the brand to gain a bunch of new followers, says Rauh, and has brought "a face to the name" for the existing ones.

The shop boasts a few different specialty coffee brewing methods, including Kalita Wave pour-overs, as well as a wall of tap handles for cold-brew coffee that could also be perfect for draft beers.

Adding alcohol into the mix is a possibility down the line; while "pretty hardcore coffee focused" for now, six taps are built into the wall and ready to go, he says.

For food, there's a custom line of pastries, including vegan and gluten-free options, sandwiches, wraps, salads and 16 oz. cold brew bottles designed for the "on the go" downtown crowd.

Also for sale: mugs, merchandise, and home brewing products.

The locale sits in a stretch of downtown that's reminiscent of Portland, he says, so he describes the ambiance as "urban elegance."

BASILE Studio (Ironside Fish & Oyster, Bankers Hill) injected a widely industrial look with some warm features that incorporate steel, wood and textured tile.

A big black matte Synesso espresso machine perched on the white Corian countertops has been getting a steady stream of "oohs and aahs."

"They see something so special and different for this area," he says.

WestBean goes even further against the commercial coffeehouse grain with a glowing red logo, Abraham Lincoln quotes and cutting in half a Eucalyptus tree from Julian and using it for seating.

WestBean is already getting repeat customers from the neighboring hotels, the nearby NBC building and the city courthouse, Rauh reveals.

The team is still toying with the hours, but for now, it's open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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