July 16, 2024
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A fresh brew: New Nautical Bean brings an artsy bend to the familiar blend spot


Nautical Bean will be opening its fourth location sometime in March. (Courtesy Photo)

Nautical Bean is a San Luis Obispo staple.

With three coffee shops already dotting the area, a fourth is no surprise. But what makes this one special is the collaboration between friends and neighbors that will give the location an artful twist.

“What’s going to be nice about this one is that it’s going to be a fully operating art gallery, but with a Nautical Bean inside sharing the seating area,” said Brett Jones, owner of the Nautical Bean chain. “So primarily during the day, it’s going to be a Nautical Bean with art, and then at night, we can close down the Nautical Bean section of it and have it be a haven for the local arts community.”

Jones expects evening activities to include poetry readings, art classes, art after dark and other such artistic endeavors to keep the local arts community flourishing.

“It’s a little bit more of a community space, but it is an art gallery with a coffee shop component,” said Missy Reitner-Cameron, the local artist who is helping Jones build out the art gallery side of the newest Nautical Bean. “Brett and I have known each other for many years. Brett and I actually live on the same street. But everyone in San Luis Obispo in business does kind of know each other.”

They both live on the same street as The Bunker, the space that the new coffee shop and art gallery is set to occupy starting this spring.

“We live about a half a mile walking distance from each other and from this location, so it’s in our neighborhood,” said Jones.

“We were going to start the remodel earlier, but unfortunately the pandemic got in the way,” said Reitner-Cameron.

Jones had only good things to say about Reitner-Cameron in that he believes in her mission to give back to the arts community.

Reitner-Cameron is not just a steward of the arts community, but a working artist as well.

“I’m a painter. I also have a mural company with a couple of friends of mine and we do work up and down California. And in The Bunker, I’ve really had the space to create and then push that forward,” said Reitner-Cameron.

The new Nautical Bean will certainly look different than the previous locations in that in the past the coffee shops paid homage to ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture.

“But this one is going to be more dedicated to the arts community,” said Jones. “And I’ll still have some of the decorations of a regular Nautical Bean inside my small section that can be closed off from the gallery section.”

The relationship between Jones and Reitner-Cameron is nothing but positive.

“We tend to lift each other up quite a bit. We have such a great friendship, and so we work really well together on these kinds of things,” said Jones. “A coffee shop is just going to fit perfectly into this area with walkability, where moms and dads can push their strollers right up. And it’s right next to a biking path, so we’re expecting a big bike culture as well as a walking community for this cafe.”

The new location will sit at 810 Orcutt Road. The coffee shop component of the gallery will serve coffee and pastries until about 4:00 P.M. every day and will be able to hold about 40 people.

The three currently open locations can be found at 11560 Los Osos Valley Road, 2010 Parker Street and 1399 Second Street (in Baywood).