Surrounded by antique stores, boutiques and chic resale shops on Magnolia Blvd. sits an intimate cafe called romancing the bean. Open from 7am to 7pm (6pm on Sundays), the focus is on breakfast and lunch, featuring specialty coffee drinks, salads, sammies and bowls.
Owner Kerry Krull uses top-notch ingredients such as hormone-free meats, eggs from free-range chickens and the freshest local produce. The cost is a bit higher, but the flavor is palpable. Krull, who also doubles as breakfast chef, keeps current with culinary trends by checking the Internet, reading foodie mags, and periodically taking cooking classes. She listens to her customers preferences and is adding more bowl dishes to the menu, offering her popular vegetarian chili year round, instead of only in the winter months.
In 1993, after working years in restaurants for other people, Krull fulfilled a dream of having a place of her own. She opened a tiny coffee shop across the street from Warner Bros. Studios. Every day, the salesman who provided the coffee would advise her, “You have to romance the bean!” The name caught on.
romancing the bean is more than just a place for food and coffee.
Krull has moved romancing the bean a few times, finally settling in the trendy Magnolia Park area in 2012. The location has been a great match for her. There is a strong sense of community: she and fellow nearby merchants celebrate “Ladies and Gents Night Out” on the last Friday of the month, showcasing the businesses with live music, food trucks and fun. On the Friday before Thanksgiving each year is “Holiday in the Park,” sponsored by the Magnolia Park Merchant’s Association, of which she is a member. In fact, the energetic Krull liked the locale so much, she, with the help of her son and daughter, opened another restaurant a block away, the 1930’s-inspired The New Deal.
romancing the bean is more than just a place for food and coffee. Krull likes to keep things lively, so once a month, on a Saturday at 8pm, she hosts a comedy night. In the very near future, the cafe will present a formal tea between 4pm and 6pm daily, featuring an assortment of teas and yummy baked goods.
To give her customers with kids a break, Krull has provided an interactive children’s table, with books and coloring supplies, so mom and dad can sip coffee and relax while their little darlings create and learn.
Running a restaurant is very hard work, but running two? Krull is fortunate that her daughter Kendra and son Ramsey are there to help. Kendra, a designer, created the look for both restaurants and takes on whatever decorating that is needed. Ramsey is the general manager of The New Deal, and has built up an impressive selection of craft beers, leaving Krull to concentrate on food and wine. Having a competent staff is essential as well, like Jamaal, who has been with the Magnolia Park store since its opening. He enjoys creating specialty drinks for occasions, such as a “Freedom Latte” in honor of Black History Month or the “Strawberries and Cream Mocha” for Valentine’s Day. He obviously has fun with his job, and appreciates that Krull encourages his creativity.
The two restaurants are distinctly different, both in menu and décor. What they do have in common is the delicious food and the charming ambience.
romancing the bean is located at 3413 W Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. Call (818) 845-2326.