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Greenberry’s Becomes “Bean Good: The Coffee Pub”

by ARLnow.com June 2, 2011 at 8:37 am 8,023 41 Comments

Say goodbye to Greenberry’s (1737 Wilson Blvd) and hello to “Bean Good.”

After about eight years in business as Greenberry’s, the new owner of the coffee shop between Rosslyn and Clarendon has decided to go “indie.” Out is the Charlottesville franchise that just won a “Best of NoVA” award in the latest issue of Northern Virginia Magazine. In is “Bean Good: The Coffee Pub,” a brand of owner Shain Noorali’s own creation.

Without the legal constraints of a franchise, says Noorali, the cafe will be able to offer more items, including locally-roasted coffee, locally-sourced food and, of course, beer and wine.

“It gives us the freedom to do things we wanted to do,” said the McLean resident, who grew up on a coffee farm in Tanzania.

Later this summer Noorali expects to introduce new desserts — gelato and cupcakes are both possibilities. Then this fall she expects the license to come through to serve beer and wine. At some point Noorali also hopes to introduce live entertainment — local musicians, mostly.

While the name has changed and new offerings are being added, Noorali — who has owned the store for a couple months now — says that the low-key vibe will remain.

“There are not going to be any drastic changes… we’re not going to change the culture of this place,” she said. “We really want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable… a living room away from home.”

H/t to Lauren Hassel

  • bob

    Hmm. I don’t have live music in my living room.

  • Thes

    Will this also make it easier for Greenberry’s to give over to Arlington County the $12,000 in taxes (pdf) they’ve collected from their customers?

    • CW

      Thes, some might say you’re beating a dead horse, but I love it. I think that this issue should be raised as often as possible and at the highest level possible. What is the county’s official position on this? What legal authority do they have to collect? Of all the issues we argue about, this one is a no-brainer…it is theft, pure and simple.

      Besides, Jim Moran says we’re not allowed to beat dead horses.

      • Lacey Forest

        No, I think Jim Moran said we can’t *eat* dead horses.

        • doodly

          Horse meat is best when you tenderize it.

    • Joe

      In response to your question, Thes, I went ahead and practiced some, what’s the word…oh yes, “journalism”. I called up the Compliance Division of the Arlington County Treasurer. It turns out that Greenberry’s is no longer showing a balance; the Arlington County official said that means the $12k balance has been paid.

      It would have been good for ArlNow to move past simply posting a de-facto press release. Doing so would have actually benefited Mr. Noorali, reassuring readers that all meals taxes are being submitted to the County. That would have been a more valuable service that ArlNow could have provided to Mr. Noorali.

      • South Arlington

        Joe, you didn’t actually practice “journalism”. ‘Investigation”, yes – journalism, no. Regardless, Arlnow isn’t the one that posted about a tax debt, Thes did.

        • Joe

          To ArlNow’s credit, they had originally posted the delinquency list back in February. That means they knew about it. The least ArlNow could have done, then, would be to check on Greenberry’s delinquency in light of the transfer.

          • We did check the list ahead of time and as of 5-31-11 Greenberry’s is no longer on it.

      • NOVApologist

        Thanks for that Joe.

        I was going to point out that the list of tax scofflaws is ~4 months old and the coffee shop was recently sold, so it was likely the tax liability had been handled as part of the sale.

      • Thes

        Joe, thanks for doing the follow-up. I’m glad Greenberry’s has paid up. Good for them!

      • Aaron

        Did you even read the y’know article Joe? Shain Noorali is clearly a woman, yet you refer to her as “Mr. Noorali” twice in your post. What ignorance.

        • Joe

          My mistake–thank you for pointing it out.

  • Boccato?

    Sounds like Boccato and Bean Good will be identical….

    • Larchmont

      Seems to work for Starbucks and Starbucks and Starbucks….hope it works for these two even more.

  • Joba

    Will Bean Good honor Greenberry’s gift cards? The tax issue isn’t a good sign.

    • Teri

      I’d like to know the answer to this as well. I just gave a couple as gifts.

  • Zach

    Any word on what kind of coffee this place is going to be brewing? I liked Greenberry’s, but their coffee was just OK; it wasn’t bad for a chain, but was handily outclassed by the Counter Culture coffee that you can now get at Bayou Bakery and Northside Social.

    Hopefully “locally roasted” means “less than a week old.”

    • OX4

      Agreed. The coffee sold at Greenberrys is mediocre at best, and doesn’t even compare to the quality and skills shown at Northside. Plus, good luck having a meaningful conversation with Greenberrys staff on the qualities and flavors of coffee. Their knowledge is limited to “dark” and “light.”

  • CW

    I still don’t understand how these small local coffeee shops actually convince enough people on a regular basis that the exorbitantly priced product they’re selling is that much better than what else is out there. I, for one, can’t tell the difference.

    I also don’t understand how they actually make any money. Anytime you go in one of these places, it’s just people lounging around, generating no revenue. Northside Social is the worst. I’d have gone there untold times for wine, charcuterie, etc. but all the tables are perpetually taken by individual single kids with $2 cups of ice tea, white macbooks, and tons of papers spread out all over the surface of a four-top.

    • Kaffe

      Even the best beans will suck if you don’t make the coffee right. This is by far the best way.


      • Clarendude

        The beans, the roast, the grind, the amount and the juice extraction method (including water temp, and/or steeping time) all influence the character of the beverage produced. In espresso, the tamp pressure also plays a role.

        • Kaffe

          True. I have found that this method produces good, mellow coffee with less bitterness, even with cheap beans. Plus it’s much faster to make than brewed coffee, and you can adjust the strength in each cup by adding more or less extract according to your taste. Also handy for recipes or iced coffee.

  • Aaron

    My initial reaction is that severing the connection to an established franchise like Greenberry’s is a huge mistake, but in reality, the quality of this particular location has waxed and waned over the past eight years, mostly dependent upon the attitude and competence of the individual baristas behind the counter.

    I wish Ms. Noorali much luck in finding and retaining a quality staff and hope that will be enough to offset the inevitable decline in the coffee itself.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I haven’t been to the Greenberry’s in Arlington,but I don’t work too far from the one in McLean and often stop by during my lunch hour for a cup of “fuel.” Maybe they brew the coffee differently at the McLean location, but I’ve consistently had great coffee from the McLean Greenberry’s.

  • RosRes

    ArlNow – The coffee shop is IN Rosslyn, not between Rosslyn and Clarendon (Courthouse is between Roslyn and Clarendon).

    • bob

      don’t tell ARLNOW…they think the entire area is Colonial Village. As in, let’s go to Colonial Village and go to Hell Burger. Or let’s go there and break into Rosslyn Heights again…

    • wat

      don’t tell RosRes, but it’s called Rosslyn.

  • lala

    Nope, not in Rossyln technically.

  • dan

    SOOOO many mistakes in the article and threads.

    THERE ARE NO TAXES DUE all taxes were paid months ago at the time the new owner purchased the business, “COFFEE SHOP BETWEEN ROSSYLN AND CLARENDON” – It is in Rosslyn, “INEVITABLE DECLINE IN COFFEE” not sure where this came from and not sure why we can’t support a new business that clearly is planning change from a struggling previous business model, “BOCATTO AND BEAN GOOD WILL BE IDENTICAL” and again – not sure where this is coming from as the new owner “grew up on a coffee farm in Tanzania” and is making fast changes that all seem to be unique.

    I want to thank Ms. Noorali for her coming in and trying to bring a better local business to the neighborhood. In times like these there are few willing to take such a gamble. I plan to visit this week.

    • Westover

      I would say it is more Colonial Village or CourtHouse, than Rosslyn. But, clearly it is not Clarendon.

      • wat

        please see the map posted above. its absolutely Rosslyn.
        Colonial Village, though I cant find an entire list, am pretty sure isn’t actually a neighborhood, its just a community.

  • dan

    good point Westover…and i added another possible mistake to the list of mistakes!

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    Rosslyn ends/Courthouse begins at Rhodes.

  • Aaron

    On behalf of Rosslyn, I would also like to stake our claim to Rhodeside Grill. Push that neighborhood boundary west by one building please.

    (Courthouse can keep Il Radicchio if they want).

    • spooner

      Can you take Summers too?

  • Andrew

    The worst cafe latte ever.
    Amazing that they call this a coffee place – if so, they need to hire barista´s and not just people off the street. Well, they could do that, but at least they should teach them how to make cafe latte.

    The Latte was burned, they start heating the milk and just leave the machine heating it. Dont go there with expectations, in fact, there is a gas station nearby, you might as well go there and save some Dollars…no difference in quality..VERY Dissapointing!


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