Keep Louisville wired: New coffeehouse, roastery coming to Germantown

Bean will open at 1138 Goss Ave., across from The Pearl. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Bean will open at 1138 Goss Ave., across from The Pearl. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

The corner of Goss and Texas avenues in Germantown is hopping.

Just across the street from where the partners in Silver Dollar and El Camino are opening a neighborhood bar, experienced coffee roaster and Germantown resident Billy Seckman is planning to open a neighborhood coffeehouse called Bean.

Seckman spent 10 years as a roaster at Java Brewing Co. in Louisville where he learned the trade and how to wholesale coffee. He estimated that he roasted 8 million pounds of coffee. Prior to that, he worked for his brother Christopher Seckman, owner of North End Cafe.

Roasting “just came very naturally,” said Seckman, adding that he’s wanted to open a coffee shop for years and unsuccessfully made a bid on the former Atomic Saucer space on Oak Street about eight years ago.

“I wanted to open in a community,” he said. “Something I could ride my bicycle to.”

Seckman’s plans didn’t come together until a series of seemingly unfortunate events. Seckman said he broke his ankle skating and couldn’t work for a period of time.

“I started working on my business plan,” he said, adding that he was later laid off. “Everything’s been working perfectly.”

Seckman originally planned to open Bean in another Germantown space, but the deal dissolved. Then he stumbled upon the vacant Goss Avenue property.

“It’s an amazing location,” said David Metcalf, who is doing the build out. Metcalf worked on Holy Grale, Gralehaus, Eiderdown, Meta and other Louisville restaurants and bars.

The 1,800-square-foot space is owned by Alex Frommeyer, founder and CEO of dental tech company Beam Technologies, and Shane Uttich, vice president of sales for Neace Ventures. They are leasing the space to Seckman.

“It’s a really good fit,” Seckman said.

Notably, Frommeyer also co-owns The Pearl building across the street. It is the first joint real estate venture Frommeyer; Amelia Gandara, director of commercialization and engagement for Greater Louisville Inc.’s entrepreneurial arm EnterpriseCorp.; and Gant Hill, president and principal broker for Gant Hill & Associates.

Seckman is aiming for an early June opening for Bean, which will serve coffee, espresso drinks and hot teas from The Tea Spot in Boulder, Colo. The coffee beans will come from Cafe Imports in Minneapolis, but Seckman will roast the beans himself.

“(The coffee) is going to be robust,” he said. “I have more body in my roasting style.”

Bean won’t simply have a variety of beans from different countries. It also will serve different types, including Turkish coffee and Vietnamese coffee, which is made with condensed milk. The coffee shop also will serve lattes, cappuccinos and other basic espresso drinks but won’t offer a broad selection of syrups.

He is still debating pricing, but a basic cup may cost around $3, Seckman said.

In addition to drinks, Bean will offer a small assortment of food from places including Wiltshire Pantry and North End Cafe. For example, it will sell breakfast pastries, fresh fruit, a couple salads and handful of sandwiches.

Although he wasn’t sure how many people Bean will seat, Seckman said the coffeehouse will have inside and outside seating, a couch and a window bar with high-top chairs for customers to relax and chat or work.

“I just want it to be a community gathering space,” he said, noting that he plans to host art shows.

Seckman eventually plans to add bicycle delivery service to the neighborhood.

Although Louisville has several homegrown coffee companies, Seckman said he doesn’t think the market it saturated, particularly in Germantown. The only other neighborhood players are Heine Brothers’ Coffee and Sunergos Coffee, both located on the border of Schnitzelburg and the University of Louisville campus.

“I feel like there is plenty of room,” Seckman said.