The Green Bean Coffeehouse all began through the convergence of ideas from a variety of significant folks. Randy Rowland, Lead Pastor of Sanctuary Church, first had the idea to open up “Greenwood Espresso” in the old tavern called Bombers on 85th street. Then in the summer of 2004 Randy met two incredible dreamers named Lisa Etter and Hayden Smith who moved to Seattle to start up the Green Bean Coffeehouse. Over the course of the year, Sanctuary helped raise support, funds were secured, and the Green Bean opened its doors in May of 2005. Lisa and Hayden poured into the Green Bean and its customers, leading it to award winning status in with the City of Seattle, the Greenwood Neighborhood Association, and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
After running for about four years, a tragic arson fire struck the Green Bean and three other businesses on October 29, 2009. All four businesses were burned to the ground and all was lost. But it was not the end of the Green Bean. The night after the fire, a huge group of supporters gathered to grieve but also to figure out the next step. That next step was that of a miracle when the owners of Sip & Ship, Steve and Diana Narramore, invited the Green Bean to operate their coffee bar until they could find a new space. Three weeks later, the Green Bean was making lattes and Baker Bob’s famous brownies once again with Summer Mohrlang, Sanctuary Associate Pastor, and Emily Kopca, Manager, at the helm.
Another surprise happened when the Brunt family, owners of the abandoned McDonald’s on Greenwood Avenue, graciously offered the space to the Green Bean at a ridiculous price. With the creative minds and skillful hands of many, the Green Bean settled into its new home and opened its doors in July of 2010. The space was much larger, with room for a conference room, a children’s area, a reading nook, and even a stage for live music nights.
The Green Bean is currently under the management of Alissa Swank and Summer Mohrlang, with a talented team of artists, baristas, chefs, and the business and outreach of the Green Bean continues to grow with open-mike nights, children’s story time, job search meetings, craft groups, and more. Summer Mohrlang began the Brown Bag Network made up of key community leaders from churches and non-profits, dedicated to the health and growth of the Greenwood neighborhood.
Hang on. As they say in those cheesy television commercials: “But wait! There’s more!” It’s true; location number four is on the way. Within the next two years the Green Bean will be moving again, as the space it now occupies will be commercially developed. The new space if currently being determined, but it will remain in the heart of Greenwood and will continue to carry the “Sit Long, Talk Much” feel.