I was meeting a friend of mine, as I do every so offten. We were only able to make the meeting happen during a time he had his kid, so we picked a place that was close to his house. He reccomended Urban Beans because they sold coffee and beer. Sweet! 2 reviews in one...kind of.
I got to Urban Beans (https://urbanbeans.com/) a little early to take pictures and check the place out before meeting with my firnd. My very first impression was that it was a really cool space that was not being capitalized on, which was pretty consistent with the visit as a whole.
The patio was shaded by good sized mesquite tree and there was a little vendor that singing birds off to the side. It was pleasant, but then I looked a the dirty plastic fold out tables and old pillows and it lost some of its charm. A little sprusing up and this patio could be amazing.
I walked in was torn. The cafe side was actually pretty nice. There was art on the tables, it was well lit. It didn't take me long to figure out this a very artsy shop (not hipster, more dreds and no bras kind of artsy). I struck up converstaion with the lovely young lady behind the counter. She was delightful. I think I was lucky though, because as I watched the service through the night, often times the employees were in the back and customers left standing waiting for quite a while.
I asked about the coffee and found out they service Espressions (https://espressions.com/), a local roaster. I was also starving so I asked about the food. I was informed that they are all vegan, which I didn't care about but seems to be important to others (as my buddy told me about it later too, like it was a big deal). They have different cooks that come in and make different things regularly. So the pastries always have a sort of differnt flare to them. I thought that was interesting. I had a pear-almond scone that was fantastic.
While I waited for my friend, I sat at the bar and just looked around for a while. At a first glance, it was not a bad place. At a closer look, it was not as nice. The coffee area was a mess. They had 2 different pastry cases, which gave it a "furnished by garage sales" feel. The soup warmer power cables were ran out in the open and the liqour was sitting on the window sill instead of shelf. It just looked like no one cared what it looked like. Which is a shame, because the U-shape bar was really cool. They had what could be a decent flow too, it was coffe/pastry and pay, then espresso bar, then food, then beer and alcohol. I liked it, it just wasn't being capitalized on.
My friend finally got there and inspected the local beer selection, we went to the counter to order. We both ordered a beer but they had lost their liquer license somehow (theyd didn't elaborate and we didn't ask), so we settled for a cup of coffee. Again, potentially great, but fell short.
The coffee was...not bad. I can't say that it rocked my world, but it didn't suck. It was basically diner coffee, simple, hot, black, a little roasty, maybe a little chocolate and nutty. I can't say I would go out of my way for the coffee here, but I wouldn't avoid it either.
We had a nice time regardless, because people are what make things special, not the other way around. If I were to endorse this place, it would be more for the scones than anything. I don't think it would take much to make this a really nice shop and really ingrain itself as a community hub.