REVIEW: Smokey’s Bean

By on September 1, 2011
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By Baylee Pulliam– 

Smokey’s Bean, like most coffeehouses pandering to predominately collegiate clientele, has walls that are covered in black and white photography and funky trinkets. Selected walls are faux brick, assumedly to give the place a hipster urban-decay vibe.

Smokey’s Bean is not your average coffeehouse. There is something genuine about it. The servers feel like family – like siblings, only they’re serving you espresso.

Smokey’s is a family business. When the owner, originally from Oregon, moved east and opened shop at the corner of First Street and Burnette Avenue, she put four of her children to work serving coffee and bussing tables.
They treat you like family, too. There is even a family pet – a big, black, fluffy one.

Smokey, for whom the coffeehouse is named, is a chou-labrador mix.  He is friendly and wanders the dining room greeting visitors and staring longingly at their foamy, caramel drinks. He also serves as the shop’s mascot and has his picture on all of their menus.

By the way, did I mention Smokey’s Bean serves a mean cup of coffee?
They serve lattes, specialty drinks and an international assortment of coffees. The beans are locally roasted and come from Guatemala, Costa Rica, and soon, from Africa.

They’re priced around what you’d expect to pay at a coffeehouse, ranging anywhere from $2.25 for an espresso shot to $4.75 for “DJ’s double delight mocha,” which is a smooth, lavish mix of white and milk chocolates and vanilla.
Smokey’s does not offer much, food-wise. There is a modest selection on the back of their menu peddling “perfectly pulled pork sandwiches,” some sides and cookies. Sandwiches are $3.50 and cookies are one dollar.

Smokey’s is a new kid on the block, having opened only three short weeks ago. But their opening seems to be perfectly timed.

In a world where the Old Louisville coffeehouse has packed up and moved out of Old Louisville, caffeine addicts will find the comfortable vibe and flavorful coffee of Smokey’s Bean coffeehouse a more than adequate replacement.

bpulliam@louisvillecardinal.com
PHOTO BY MICHAEL BALDWIN/THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

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