Cool Beans Cafe

103 West Liberty Street, a building that is an icon for the history of Local Businesses in Medina. This Building has held businesses from grocery stores to bars and currently a coffee shop.

This plot of land has even been used by Medina since the very beggining. The first resident on the Medina Square was Captain Badger. He built a two-story log cabin on the location that is presently Cool Beans Cafe, the focus of this exhibit. The cabin served as a tavern and his home on the first story and a court room on the second story. Captain Badger also helped name the streets that surrounded the square in 1819, during the first Fourth of July celebration.

Business and residential buildings quickly sprang up around the tavern and park in the center of the square. Along with the development of the rest of the square helped turn the Cool Beans building into a mercantile business.This business was part of the fire in 1877, where it burnt down.

The store that followed the mercantile businesses was Medina Supply store. This was during the early 1920's and can also symbolize the roaring twenties. This shows how the square was the focal point of the town and many people had extra money to spend at stores like this one.

By the 1930's, the great depression brought less need for luxury and more need for necessity. This caused the transition from Medina Supply to Standard Drug. This store was also known for their soda fountain and sweets which caused it to last so long.

With new ownership in the brought Revco, Revco symbolized Medina's attempt at modernizing the square. Revco put plastic paneling all around the outside of the building. Around the same time the CDC was making its push for the buildings to be historical buildings, which it would later win.

The final establishment before it became Cool Beans is the Arabica, which came about in the late 1980s. This was a coffee house and was known for its fantastic atmosphere. This business shows the growth of Medina at the time. There were less need for convenient stores or grocery stores on the square because of the growth north of the square.

When looking at the history of the Cool Beans building, one can see that not only was it a link to the history of Medina but also the history and economics of the United States itself.

Images

Captain Badger's log cabin

Captain Badger's log cabin

Cool Beans Cafe is presently located on the spot where the first building of the Medina Public Square was built, which was Captain Badger's log cabin. Hiram Bronson is one of the oldest pioneers of Medina. In 1818, Mr. Bronson moved to Medina when he was 13 years old. In 1828, Bronson was elected as the Sheriff of the county. In 1842, after moving away to Richfield for 11 years, he returned to Medina where he started a mercantile business. He believed that Medina would prosper, and prosper is exactly what it did. Mr. Bronson kept his business running all the way up until 1861. He became very successful with his business and brought a lot of economic wealth to the city. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

After the fire

After the fire

Following the fire of 1877 brought the need to rebuild. The Medina supply brought interest to the community and brought people to the square for everyday needs. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

The Medina Supply Store Trolley

The Medina Supply Store Trolley

A trolley started at the corner of the Medina Supply Store and went all the way to Cleveland for only 10 cents which brought a lot of travelers and business to the supply store and the other Square locations. The trolley would also take residents of Medina to downtown Cleveland to see the Indians play at the stadium. Baseball was very popular during the 1920's and was said to have been the, "golden age", for baseball players. The Roaring Twenties was an exciting time for the United States and the economy was in a great condition and Americans were spending more money than ever. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Medina Supply Store

Medina Supply Store

The Medina Supply symbolized the roaring twenties in America with families having more extra money to spend. The Medina supply was more of a convenience store for a quick pick up. It also had different sweets that also show the extra use of money during the time. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Crowded Corner at Christmas

Crowded Corner at Christmas

This picture is during Christmas time with many people gathered around the drug store. This reflects the time period of the great depression. People during the time go to a drug store to get gifts rather than go to specialty stores to find expensive items. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

1960's brings change

1960's brings change

During the 1960's, the main idea of the time period was to modernize the look of homes and businesses. Urban Renewal became greatly supported during this time because people wanted to see some changes. In the 1960's not only were businesses and homes changing, but changes took place in music, clothing, and political views. Changing the look of the city was a way for people to express their new ideas and opinions. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Revco ... the eye-soar

Revco ... the eye-soar

The Urban Renewal Movement sweeping the nation in the 1960's left Revco looking like an "eyesore" as the Medina Gazette put it. Revco was a perfect example of this modernizing trend that caused the demise of Standard Drug in 1963. Plastic paneling was built all around the building and the famous Standard Drug counter was torn down. The second floor of the building became a pool hall. A seperate staircase led to the pool hall. Children would sneak up to the second floor because parents did not approve of letting their children stay in an establishment that had adults drinking. The young generation during this time, could not wait until they were older so that they could visit the pool hall and be with all of the adults.This desire is one of the many reasons that turned Revco into a very popular business. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

The beauty and the possibilities

The beauty and the possibilities

he Revco building was bought by Mr. Bachhelder in the late 1960's. Around the same time the Community Design Community, which was established in 1967, tried to convince Mr. Bachhelder to remodel the building. The group was trying to bring back the Victorian charm the Medina Sqaure once had. At this time the buildings were cluttered with billboards and various advertisements. Mr. Bachhelder agreed, and restoration went very well and was even featured in the Medina newspaper. This restoration looked much like the building looks today. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Arabica-the beginning of Coffee

Arabica-the beginning of Coffee

In the late 1980's Arabica became the next business to be established which preceded Cool Beans Cafe. Arabica was a traditional coffeehouse. Musicians would sit and play their guitars and entertain the customers all day long. There were many different kinds of coffees to choose from and many residents would go to Arabica in the morning before work. Their business was known to have a fantastic atmosphere. Unfortunately, the business did not get enough traffic to keep it open. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Busy street corner with ghosts insidez

Busy street corner with ghosts insidez

Recently, Cool Beans has been in the newspaper The Post. Pamela J. Miller wrote a story about the coffee shop and the ghosts that are rumored to be living there. On December 19, it is said that a ghost's presence was felt in the basement of Cool Beans. Elizabeth Howell, a psychic, and the rest of her team visited Cool Beans to discover the truth. They discovered that 8 different ghosts are residing in the Cool Beans basement. The Ohio Evaluation, Research and Validation Society also visited Cool Beans. They too believe that ghosts are present in the Cool Beans basement. Mrs. Parnell is not quite sure what to believe, although she did have a few what is believed to be, communications with the ghosts. She claims that one night she had mocked the ghosts to a friend and the next morning when she came into work a few of her lights were burnt out on the ceiling of the building. Ghosts are not the only historical things that can be found in the Cool Beans basement. There is an alley that is located in the middle of the basement that is thought to be part of the Underground Railroad that once went through Medina. Escaped slaves would travel down the alley to avoid slavery and encounter freedom. Along with the alley, there is a door that leads to the shop located next to Cool Beans. All of the businesses on the Square are connected and have been for decades. This is most likely due to the fact that the Square use to be homes to many people. Also, a hidden door is located on the left side of the basement that no one has been able to get into for quite some time. History is preserved upstairs as well. You can still see that the spot where the bookself is presently located used to be a doorway to one of the earlier businesses that existed. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Design Committee View File Details Page

Cool Beans today

Cool Beans today

Cool Beans was created in the late 1990's. The owner of Cool Beans decided that the location should remain as a coffee shop due to the fact that it was already set up like a traditional coffee shop. Cool Beans Cafe remains exactly the same today and is one of the most profitable businesses on the Square. The current owner, Laura Parnell, moved here from Detroit a few years ago. She loved the way that Medina had a "small town" charm and she was especially attracted to the Square. The beauty and history that is present in the Square influenced her decision to move there. The Square is warm and inviting and all of the pedestrians that can be found walking the streets make the city look very friendly. She would always go to Cool Beans to have business meetings with her coworkers. In fact, that is how she became the owner of Cool Beans. She met the former owner and they had a conversation about the business. The previous owner told Mrs. Parnell that she no longer wanted to own Cool Beans. Mrs. Parnell loved the coffee shop so much that she decided to take over. The historical basement, the unique menu, the contemporary art, and the great atmosphere has made Cool Beans one of the most profitable businesses on the Square. Many residents and tourists visit Cool Beans to try the amazing coffee, drinks, salads, sandwiches, cookies and other delicious food. The owner works closely with other owners on the Square and takes part in many Medina fundraisers such as Ladies Night and the Ice Festival, that take place every year. Mrs. Parnell belives participating is the key to luring costumers to visit her business. Cool Beans economically has had a large impact on Medina and at the same time keeps Medina's Square historical and unique. Image Courtesy of Singh, Dilpreet 103westlibertystreet.wikispaces.com View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Breanna Pope; Preeti Singh; Meghan Matthews; Brent Skoda; Alex Mutnansky, “Cool Beans Cafe,” Discover Medina, accessed April 29, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/13.
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