For friends Gretchen Pete and Coral Erikson, visiting the Gilded Bean Coffee Bar has become a staple of their weekly routine. The two said they would travel all the way from Burlington and Graham, respectively, to Gibsonville — where the coffee bar is stationed — and catch up with each other over coffee and treats.
According to Pete and Erikson, in the three years since it first opened, the Gilded Bean has become a popular location for people to gather and spend time with one another.
“A lot of people stop here on their way to work in the morning to get coffee,” Pete said. “And you’ve got a lot of people who have little meetings here.”
On Sept. 30, Charles Beard, owner of The Gilded Bean Coffee Bar, announced on Facebook that the store would be closing Dec. 23. According to Beard, the location is being renovated between January 2024 to June 2024.
Yet, Beard said that closing of the coffee shop was a mutual decision between him and the landlord — as he has been looking to explore his passion in music. In August 2022, he accepted a job as a music director at the Macedonia Lutheran Church in Burlington.
Beard said being both a music director as well as the owner of a coffee shop would be too large of a workload, so he chose to close the Gilded Bean and explore new opportunities.
“I will miss a lot of these people and I will be getting their numbers so we can meet and go to another coffee shop,” Beard said. “But at the same time, I’m ready to move onto other ventures.”
Many of the Gilded Bean’s regulars said they are upset that the coffee shop is closing, but they understand Beard’s reasoning for closing. Pete and Erikson have both been coming to the Gilded Bean ever since it first opened three years ago.
They said they are going to miss the coffee shop’s ambiance and claimed that no other coffee shop can match the Gilded Bean’s atmosphere. They hope the coffee shop’s peaceful environment could possibly be relocated.
“I understand that Chuck’s tired and he has other passions,” Pete said. “But it would be nice if we could move this to somewhere else in Gibsonville."
Other customers have been showing their support for the Gilded Bean by giving it as much business as possible before they close. Becky Deutchle and Nancy Aldridge said they rotate between different coffee shops every week. But when they heard that the Gilded Bean was closing, they started coming to the coffee shop more frequently.
“I hope he finds another space that he can open back up,” Deutchle said. “He’s put a lot of time and energy into this place. I am seeing stuff now that I didn’t see previously like the clocks on the safe.”
Elon senior Julia Walter works at the Gilded Bean and said she likes how the coffee shop allows her the opportunity to get away from Elon and interact with locals.
Walter said she will miss the community at the Gilded Bean and the peaceful environment she has come to love.
“I wish it didn’t have to close,” Walter said. “A lot of people, especially Gibsonville locals, are going to miss it.”