The second week of May 2012 marks the fourth anniversary of Bean & Grape Café, the coffee and wine bar that has become one of Winter Haven’s favorite places to grab a quick coffee or to get together for a casual lunch, drinks after work, or a birthday party. The café offers a variety of specialty coffees, beers, and over 300 wine selections, including fair trade and organic wines, wines for every taste and price range, from $5 a glass to $250 a bottle.
Located on 1st Street in Bells Alley, Bean & Grape Café features a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere; patrons are invited to relax in overstuffed chairs surrounded by lush plants while a soundtrack of jazz, oldies, and coffeehouse favorites plays softly in the background. The café WiFi allows patrons to work, send email or surf the Internet. At 5:00 p.m. every evening the lights dim, inviting guests to relax further and enjoy cozy conversation. Renovations recently made to the Bells Alley shops—including new, contemporary paint colors, copper accents, and fresh landscaping—make the front patio area inviting for guests who would like to enjoy their beverages outdoors.
The staff of Bean & Grape is friendly and knowledgeable and will help guests to determine what kind of wine they would like, including those who don’t know a great deal about wine and those who claim that they don’t really like wine. Typically, after asking a guest several simple questions about the types of wines they like (and the types they do not like) and offering them a taste of two or three different varieties, the staff can select a wine they believe the guest will enjoy.
Over the last four years Bean & Grape Café has expanded its hours and its menu to better serve customers. Now opening at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, the café offers freshly baked muffins, bagels and a spinach, egg and feta flatbread to go with morning coffees and lattes. The lunch menu includes a selection of Mediterranean flatbreads, many of which are seasoned with the café’s signature Pomegranate-Chipotle sauce. The Ahna’s Roast Beef and Brie and the B&G Club are two flatbread choices that are especially popular with customers. The evening menu offers assorted cheese plates and flatbreads that make a nice light meal or snack for guests heading out for an evening at the theatre or other local event. Delicious desserts—made in house—include chocolate mousse, crème brulee, and a decadent chocolate brownie, all of which pair nicely with various wines.
Over the last four years patrons have consistently remarked how they can’t believe that Bean & Grape Cafe is in Winter Haven, noting that it seems more like a café typically found in a big city like Tampa or Miami. And once folks discover Bean & Grape Cafe they become rather loyal, coming in to unwind after work, to hold business and community meetings, and to throw bridal, baby, and even divorce showers in this welcoming environment.
May 7th will begin a week-long celebration of the Bean & Grape’s first four years that will include coffee and wine specials. Check the café’s website for more information:
www.beanandgrapecafe.com. And be sure to “like” Bean & Grape Café on Facebook, “check in” at Bean & Grape Cafe on FourSquare, and follow them on Twitter @BeanAndGrape.
Susan Fallows is a freelance nonfiction writer and creative writing teacher. She can be reached at email@example.com