Nestled between University Grille and Quality Inn & Suites lies One Bean Espresso Bar. The small coffee shop attracts customers from various demographics: Shippensburg locals, University Grille customers, hotel guests and Shippensburg University students. Genuine conversations fill the air between both friends and strangers. Light peers through the back floor-to-ceiling window, reaching from each corner of the shop into the hotel lobby. Walking through the space, Mitchell Burrows, One Bean and University Grille owner, exchanges greetings with employees and customers.
Burrows became the sole owner of One Bean and University Grille this year after buying out his partner, Mike Kalathas. But before Burrows absorbed the responsibilities of the two Shippensburg native businesses, he first worked his way up to the job.
Burrows enrolled at Shippensburg University in 2005 as a history and philosophy major. He began working, shortly after, as a dishwasher at University Grille in 2007. From there, he was promoted to cook, then to chef and later general manager before becoming a legal owner.
One Bean opened in 2014 in place of a banquet room in the hotel lobby’s corner. After careful consideration, University Grille management realized that their original idea, a 7-10 a.m. breakfast lounge was not efficient. Instead, management decided to open a 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. espresso bar, open every day to everyone and not just to hotel guests. That is when downtown Shippensburg welcomed its first coffee shop.
“One Bean is a haven for people to come in and to meet with groups or work on projects long term,” Burrows said. “Pretty much every day you’ll find some students or locals working on something and they’re just sitting in the shop for hours and that’s great for us because it helps give the place some motion.”
Allen Dieterich-Ward, a history professor at Shippensburg University, loves supporting the local business. He holds his office hours in the espresso bar every Friday and encourages students to explore downtown Shippensburg.
“Some of my students don’t even know One Bean exists,” Dieterich-Ward said. “That’s why I have office hours here — to get them off campus and into the town.”
One Bean is more of an asset to the restaurant, hotel and community according to Burrows, who prides the espresso bar on its authentic atmosphere, as opposed to a profit-making drive-in and drive-out business.
“For me, it’s the same appeal that the University Grille has over a chain. If you’re looking to get in and get out in minimal time at the cheapest price, despite the quality, you’re going to go somewhere else," Burrows said.
"It’s just been a lot of fun,” Burrows said. “It’s an awesome place. I love it.”