Gourmet coffee in a grain bin
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KOLN) - If you love coffee and the country, then both come together quite nicely in North Platte.
The Coffee Bin is a place where you can experience gourmet coffee, and the business just so happens to be housed inside an authentic grain bin. “It’s an addition that we put onto the garden center that we have just to the west and, we did this several years ago,” owner Randy Billingsley said. He also operates the Garden Glove garden center. Billingsley says he got an idea to do this after attending a garden show in Chicago. “There was a lot of interest in making things a destination at the garden center,” Billingsley said. “That’s when it first inspired us to add a coffee shop.”
Billingsley planned to make his coffee shop with grain bins, to represent the agricultural heart of Nebraska. “We used two 18′ grain bins,” Billingsley said. “They are used grain bins, and they were originally from a farm south of Curtis. We brought them up here and reconstructed them, and added a stick structure between them. They are fully insulated with poly-urathane foam and sheet rock on the inside of the grain bins. It was quite a task to get it put together.”
Customers say the work was well worth it. “It actually draws a lot of people off the interstate over here because it’s a point of interest and, around the country there’s been interest over the last 10 years of re-purposing grain silos and grain bins to make houses and different structures,” Billingsley said. “So that’s what kind of inspired me to design this and put it together.”
It took some time to build this “point of interest”. “I was also running the garden center and doing landscaping at the same time,” Billingsley said. “It was a period of a year-and-a-half, almost two years to construct this.” Owners say a former North Platte business known as Java Junction played a big role in helping get The Coffee Bin up and running. Java Junction can now be found in Kearney. At the Coffee Bin, there’s plenty on the menu.
“We do some breakfast items,” Billingsley said. “Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we do breakfast burritos. Thursdays and Sundays we do biscuits and gravy, and Tuesdays and Saturdays we do breakfast sandwiches. For the lunch menu, it depends on what season it is. In winter, we have soups and other sandwiches available, as well as salads. We do some wraps, we do some paninis.”
And, of course, there’s coffee. “We have an extensive line of flavors,” Billinglsey said. “We offer more different drinks than many other coffee shops. We have an extensive line of smoothie mixes we use.” And with all that on the menu, you can certainly get a taste of the Good Life in North Platte at The Coffee Bin.
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