Wil Bryan's Brew
Downtown has many homes, but few of them have the feel that Wil Bryan fosters in his living rooms.
Coffee is a common pleasure and sometimes vice, but at beansTalk in downtown Boone, you can forget the negatives and enjoy the pace it creates. Bryan has worked in the large coffee houses that span the world and learned from his experiences.
"Even the big dogs were puppies once, and every business is a local small-time shop in the beginning," Bryan said.
Good coffee is provided at the house, converted into a coffee shop, at 352 W. King St., and if you ask, Bryan may show you some magic. He studied his tricks with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Doc Hillford, Michael Ammar, Steven Minch and Aaron Fisher, but his mentor was Tom Frank, who befriended and guided him to understanding.
"I spent many years hanging with professional gamblers, clowns, jugglers, artists, dancers, magicians, and performers of many other sorts," Bryan said. "It was a lot of 3 a.m. sessions filled with cards, coins and cigars in the back room of a magic shop in the old district of Seattle's downtown. I learned more in that tiny smoke filled backroom than any three class rooms I have ever set foot in."
One might get the feeling of a backroom when they spend time at beansTalk. Nooks and corners and doors that lead to roofs are all there. The closeness isn't lost on those who get their brew there either. Good experiences are had at coffee houses.
"Coffee is good, spending time in coffee houses is better," Bryan said. "I've seen fathers teach their kids to play chess, I've seen first dates that turned into years of more dates. We've had a girl proposed to, seen couples get married ... As a result of people talking in the shop, we have put in King Street's first community garden and its first bike rack. We've even helped two other businesses form and take root in the community (Parr Foods and The Sweetie Pie Bakery.) The most important things are the tiny connections made with people discovering each other and sitting down together in person."
Bryan appreciates his neighbor and the lives they live.
"I worked in a rescue team during my teen years, and being faced with mortality at that age gave me an inherent appreciation for life and its rich brevity," he said. "Just last year, I had open heart surgery, which showed me how powerful a support group I have in those who care for me and helped me shift to a healthier lifestyle and to enjoy each day and each breath."
His attitude is one of class. When asked what adversity he has defied or understands, he replied, "I choose to deal in challenges, not adversities."
Bryan believes in community, and if you want to know something about the people and the area, he is a good place to start.
"Community is everything," he said. "We are social beings, and community is the source of all of the great things we have accomplished. I am involved because I like having the opportunity to make my own contributions to the world around me. It's all about people helping people."
Have some good vibrations at the beansTalk on King Street and enjoy a magic trick or two.