On a stinkin’ hot Christchurch afternoon, we sat down with Nathan & Libby, the upbeat owners of A Mouse Called Bean, to hear what they’ve been up to lately and to get the scoop on Bean’s next CHCH Central venture…
What’s your vibe towards the current state of the Central City?
Libby: I like it. I used to live here before moving overseas and to be honest I thought it was stale. Every since coming back I’ve witnessed the refreshing perspective the earthquake has given people. The city is not manicured in the slightest and I like it that way.
Nathan: Expectations are higher than what they were. I think everyone is expecting a brand new glistening city but we can’t just recreate the landscape going off old paradigms and old rules. That’s why it’s the small businesses that have kick-started the new city because they know how to adapt creatively to unfamiliar environments. We’re all waiting for the bigger fish to move in and do their thing so we can weave ourselves into the picture more permanently.
Nathan: It was an existing coffee shop owned by the guys at The Caffeine Laboratory and we took it over in October 2014.
What’s been the best thing about living and working in the Central City?
Nathan: The wicked people you meet. There’s this community feel you never used to have in town back in the day – especially between the business owners themselves. We operate old school and exchange goods with one another – “we’ll exchange you 2 coffees for a pizza”… that sort of thing.
Libby: You get to meet a vast array of people coming from so many different sectors – locals, retailers, IRD people, dogsmashers (Fritz’s hot dog followed by coffee consumers), the high-vis community….it’s created a buzzing hub full of diversity.
Now that some of the Re:START mall is coming to an end at the end of April, what’s next on the cards?
Nathan: We’re moving to the Mackenzie & Willis building sometime in March to be a part of an open food cooperative with the likes of Base Woodfired Pizza, Bacon Bros, Mexican and Argentinian BBQ, and featuring local beer and wine in the afternoon.
Libby: We’ll be hosting regular live music, there’ll be a busking pitch and we’re looking into having events such as fashion shows and poetry slams to offer people something interesting and a bit different to do with their evenings.
When you’re not manning the coffee machine, what city hot spots can we find you hanging out at?
Nathan: When we do come in, we’ll look at new places that have opened up and check out new hospitality ventures – Shop Eight has been one of our recent favourites.
Finally…..mice – pets or pests?