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On my visit to Duluth, coffee addict that I am, I discovered a coffee shop that was both incredibly cool and – for me at least – chuckle inducing.

You see, I live in Southern California, where the name of this place would be likely to incite riots.

Beaner’s Central is a cool little coffee house and small live venue for some pretty terrific music. The place has a really cool vibe and some equally great coffee. I had to buy one of their hand thrown clay mugs just to prove to my fellow Californians that such a place did exist. The place proudly proclaims that they compost and recycle everything possible.

Now, why can’t I find a great place like this locally? The closest I’ve come around here is Cosmos Coffee in La Mesa – and I do love Cosmos – great coffee, food’s pretty decent and the people watching outside is terrific, but… it’s just not quite the same as Beaner’s. Which, I have to say, is a pretty cute and clever name for a coffee shop, despite the fact that the name simply would not fly in the southwest.

Ah, what a difference geography makes!