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Big Bean set to open restaurant and café in Durham


Popular Newmarket breakfast restaurant Big Bean will be expanding to Durham under new owners Arley and Jon Wells.  

“Everything should open around the 30th [of September],” Arley Wells said, adding that there may be a soft opening the week before for friends and family to see how everything goes. 

The restaurant will go in Jenkin’s Court, taking place of the former Lexie’s Burgers. An additional section, a café, will expand over to its own area of the space to where The Spot used to be, or for other context, in the back of where Big Bean will set up.  

The café is a special addition to the Durham location.  

“There will be counter service where people will be able to grab coffee, or have a quick meal of an omelet, scrambled eggs or grilled cheese,” Wells said. “There will be chalkboard menus up, baristas working and food made right in the café.” 

She explained further that it’s meant to be a place to bring a laptop and relax, whereas the “restaurant part” is more of main dining. 

The announcement of the expansion was first made on Facebook on Aug. 9, receiving mostly positive feedback and reactions. The post, as of Sept. 5, has been liked and reacted to over 1,000 times, with 384 comments and 145 shares, showcasing intense local excitement for the new location.  

The pair have owned the restaurant for nearly a year and “are excited” to expand their restaurant. Part of this enthusiasm stems from their reputation of sustainability: food and fruit are locally sourced from farms in the area, and food specials revolve around fresh ingredients and what is in season, according to Big Bean’s website, which is currently advertising peanut butter blueberry pancakes.  

“We have compost bins, compost every week, have compostable to-go containers and lids,” Wells said, adding that the Durham location will have re-usable mugs and the same bright, sunny atmosphere the Newmarket location has. 

The Big Bean website states that food items are made in small batches, with menu items ranging from breakfast to lunch. The menu includes breakfast sandwiches with eggs, and the popular “The 420,” which for $8.25 comes with two eggs any style, choice of meat, home fries, a coffee, and toast. The lunch menu features club sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas.  

“We are trying to get a liquor license to have mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and wine,” Wells said about future plans, which also entail online ordering. 

The Durham Big Bean will use the same menu as its Newmarket counterpart and will accept Cat’s Cache. Their hours will be the same as well, with the restaurant open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wells expressed hope that could eventually be open up until 6 p.m. 

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