by Dan Bolles
This just in from North Winooski Avenue: Radio Bean is expanding yet again.
In a phone call this afternoon, Lee Anderson, owner of both the Bean and the coffee shop's adjoining restaurant, ¡Duino! (Duende), informs Seven Days that he will be taking over the lease in the space previously occupied by the recently closed Caribbean Buffet restaurant. He says he plans to have the new space open by January 1, 2014.
And just what does Anderson plan to do with the space? Expanded seating for the restaurant? More stage space for bands, perhaps?
Nope. It's gonna be a lamp shop.
Yes, you read that correctly. Anderson's new venture will be a lamp shop that sells locally made lamps and accessories and other vintage baubles. It will also include the "Kitty Corner," where Anderon's wife, soul singer Kat Wright, will sell her own handcrafted goods. And, yes, there will also be a bar, though Anderson says he views that aspect of the venture to be secondary to selling lamps.
"It's going to be an extension of what we already do," he says, citing the Bean's general "bohemian- decadent" aesthetic. "There will be a hole in the wall and you can flow from the Radio Bean to the restaurant and then into this crazy lamp lounge," Anderson continues. "It's going to be a really eclectic lamp shop."
Anderson says he envisions the new room to be a quieter alternative to the bustle of the café and restaurant. He describes a speakeasy-type scene: a swanky room with a piano playing the background and people casually lounging and sipping cocktails. Maybe while wearing lampshades on their heads?
"It's not going to be a bar that happens to have lamps for sale," says Anderson. "It's a lamp shop where you'll happen to be able to have a glass of wine."