Sharinabean’s coffee stand namesake Sharina McCrain has been serving coffee in Monroe for just over three years. Now, with her new location, she’s providing a family-friendly haven that offers her trademark coffee drinks and more.
Open for business as of Monday, Dec. 26, Sharinabean’s on Main is located at 103 W. Main St., near the northwest corner of Main and Lewis streets.
The newly remodeled espresso bar and eatery is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-8 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to coffee, McCrain serves freshly made soups, biscuits and gravy and a selection of pastries, with plans for an expanded menu with homemade sweet and savory pies, crepes, pancakes and possibly sandwiches.
McCrain will operate Sharinabean’s on Main in addition to the original Sharinabean’s stand inside the Sky River Medical Center near EvergreenHealth Monroe.
The menu at Sharinabean’s on Main is kid-friendly with an underlying comfort food theme, McCrain said. Once she installs her commercial stove, slated for arrival in the next few weeks, she will start to enhance and build her menu.
“The menu will definitely be growing as we grow, but right now I’m sticking with soups, biscuits and gravy and then some pastries,” McCrain said. “I’m keeping it fairly simple right now.”
Featured soups so far have included pasta fagioli, chicken tortilla, tomato basil and taco.
Her 9-year-old daughter Ciarra has been an integral part of Sharinabean’s, and will continue to fill an important role at Sharinabean’s on Main. In addition to selling her handcrafted jewelry, Ciarra helps welcome younger guests to the café and provide activities.
McCrain’s hope is for Sharinabean’s on Main to become a destination for families. In addition to providing a casual, comfortable dining environment for any time of day, she plans to incorporate family movie events, opportunities for board games, Bunco nights and LuLaRoe pop-up boutiques, which provide local LuLaRoe consultants space to display and sell their clothing.
To broaden the appeal for families, there is a special area set up for kids. McCrain’s goal is to provide a safe and fun place that welcomes families, no matter how many little ones they have in tow.
“This is an extension of my house, as far as I’m concerned, so when you come here it’s like coming into my living room,” McCrain said. “I want you to feel at home, I want you to relax, I want you to bring a book to read or bring a board game to play with your friends.”
She also offers free Wi-Fi, for customers who want to come in and get some work done.
As she becomes more established, she hopes to add different events and activities, along with her expanded menu. One idea is to transform the traditional “paint and sip” concept into “coffee and canvas” events that don’t incorporate alcohol, but still offer an evening of painting guided by an instructor. McCrain is networking to find local artists that can facilitate adult coffee and canvas events as well as painting events that families can enjoy together.
Since she started Sharinabean’s in 2013, the banker-turned-entrepreneur has been motivated to build the business. Initial efforts to do that included establishing a mobile coffee vending service, which provides coffee at various local events, including city-sponsored activities and privately operated events like the Monroe Farm to Table Farmer’s Market.
Her inspiration for opening Sharinabean’s was Main was multifaceted. She wanted to help bring some buzz back to Main Street, create a family-friendly environment that was available during evening hours and provide for her daughter.
“She’s the reason I’m doing this — her goal is to be a doctor. This is how she’s going to put herself through medical school,” McCrain said. “She’s already been learning to make coffee.”
At age 9, Ciarra is too young to make coffee for customers, but is building her skills so she’ll be able to jump in with both feet once old enough. She currently practices making drinks for her mom during non-business hours, she said.
“I know how to make the coffee and run the till,” Ciarra said.
Ciarra’s reputation as an artist and a crafter precedes her; her pieces can be found on desks inside the Sky River Medical Clinic, and she has had her own booth at Farm to Table Farmers Market kids vendor day events. Currently, she offers rings, bracelets and key chains, as well as fingerless gloves she makes with a knitting loom.
So far, Sharinabean’s on Main has been a community effort, McCrain said. Since signing her lease in August, a robust team of volunteers, including Sharinabean’s customers and fellow members of Monroe Valley Church of Life, have come forward to help her transform the inside of what was formerly a Mexican grocery store into the cozy, modern café it is now.
McCrain said some of the heavy lifting was accomplished by friends, including Randy Hudon, who built the counters and did the plumbing and electrical work.
McCrain looks forward to meeting more of Monroe at her new location and is excited about the potential she sees in her menu. First and foremost, she is looking forward to serving more coffee, she said.
“It’s still mostly about the coffee for me, but I want to offer food as well,” McCrain said. “And who doesn’t like pie and coffee?”
For more information on Sharinabean’s on Main, visit facebook.com/sharinabeansonmain.