He refers to the years he spent growing up in Iran, followed by time spent in Europe where coffeehouses serve as social hubs to meet, talk, write or read. When I compared Bean & Beyond to the television show “Cheers” (where everybody knows your name) Davood Khatami appeared flattered, as this is his vision for the intimate café. I pointed to a table by the window where I frequently see the same customers seated, and based on my descriptions he was able to name them all. This is Davood Khatami’s greatest pleasure; he loves getting to know his customers. Bean & Beyond has the feel of a Commercial Drive coffeehouse where socializing and soccer set the tone. He deliberately does not offer Wi-Fi in order to encourage a social environment.
Davood and Eileen Khatami bought the business in April 2008. Eileen Khatami is a Richmond native and convinced her husband to set up shop in Steveston. Over the years they have made changes including a major renovation, expanding the menu and obtaining a liquor license two years ago. They recently added “bistro” to the business name to distinguish it as being more than a coffeehouse.
After leaving war torn Iran in 1984 Davood Khatami spent a number of years in Europe, including time in Germany. In 1991 he came to Canada and established himself. He worked at a number of restaurants including The Boathouse, The Sandbar, White Spot and for a short while he owned a diner on Bridgeport Road in Richmond before purchasing Bean & Beyond.
The couple have four children under the age of 12; therefore Eileen Khatami is busy running their household in addition to doing all of the baking for the restaurant.
The busy little bistro is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Food is made daily, by hand, using only the freshest ingredients including Richmond’s Rabbit River free range eggs. The brunch menu includes Belgian waffles, breakfast panini, Eggs Benedict, quiche (made daily) and bagel and lox.
The lunch menu features a variety of popular grilled panini sandwiches such as rosemary ham with Emmenthaler cheese and roasted chicken with mango, red onion and tomato. Other offerings include curry chicken wraps with spring greens, chicken cashew spring green salad with tomato bruschetta and grilled focaccia, and a homemade soup of the day. The tempting baked goods include squares, cookies, shortbread, loaves, scones and muffins.
Community spirit is extremely important to Davood Khatami. Bean & Beyond has established a friendly soccer rivalry over the last four years with Steveston Barbers. The barbershop’s owner, Iain MacKelworth, and Davood Khatami had traded playful insults leading up to the England vs. Germany game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After England lost, MacKelworth had to don lederhosen and wave a German flag while dancing in the intersection of No. 1 Road and Moncton Street.
Building on this theme, this past spring the two merchants challenged one another’s businesses to an indoor soccer match at Sportstown, which became known as the Beanfica-Barberlona Charity Soccer Match. The teams were comprised of customers and special shirts were made for this fundraising event, with proceeds going to the Richmond Society for Community Living. They plan to make this an annual tournament and the next match takes place in March.
On Canada Day (as part of the Steveston Salmon Festival) Bean & Beyond hosts their biggest event of the year, a barbeque, which requires a work force of ten people. Davood Khatami is extremely enthusiastic about this event and would like to see the village bustling like this more frequently.
The World Cup is always a busy time at the bistro. Televisions are fired up and fans sit around eating, drinking beer and cheering for their favourite teams. October is another favourite month as Oktoberfest is celebrated with gusto. On set nights Bean & Beyond partners with Jens Hertha’s Steveston business, D-Original Sausage Haus, and offers beer, pretzels and bratwurst.
Monthly live music nights are also on the ‘menu.’ Check out the bistro’s Facebook page for regular updates on all scheduled events.
In addition to these special public ticketed dinners, you can book Bean & Beyond for private evening functions. If you are seeking an intimate venue to host a birthday, office party, meeting or private dinner Davood Khatami is at your service and will cater the event.
Tasty food, great coffee, and plenty of atmosphere are all part of the Bean & Beyond experience. Davood Khatami and his staff are guaranteed to welcome you warmly, and they may even recruit you to join the Bean & Beyond Café Bistro soccer team!
Bean and Beyond Cafe Bistro
120-12420 No. 1 Rd
Richmond BC V7E 6N2