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Author Topic: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]  (Read 321 times)

January 03, 2022, 06:21:52 AM
Read 321 times

in a beard of glory

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  • Beaumont Booker Bainbridge

    • Pronouns: he/him


  • Location: The Rooster ^_^
[London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« on: January 03, 2022, 06:21:52 AM »
New Year. New Business.

The Wilde Bean cafe is located in London, not too far from The Rooster. It is a magical establishment, though surrounded by muggle places. Muggles won’t notice the cafe as they walk near it. There’s a bit of an itch some muggles might feel, a fleeting feeling of ‘was there something just there, in the corner of my eye?’ but the feeling leaves them almost as soon as it is felt, and they move on. On the other hand, Magical folk will see a brick-faced building with large windows looking out into the street. The place is called The Wilde Bean. It’s a cozy place with a fireplace that is always lit in the winter months. Tables with mix-matched chairs are scattered about the place. There’s a small reading nook with cozy chairs and shelves filled with books for people to read and borrow(queer nonfiction and fiction alike). Delicious smelling baked goods are on display at the counter. A massive chalkboard behind the till and counter lists all the drinks and food served. Gender-neutral restrooms are down the hall, just past the reading nook. There’s even a little area for people who wish to read poetry or perform music for open mic nights.

The Wilde Bean is a cafe for queer people in the magical community in and around London. It is for those who don’t feel comfortable going to the Rooster, who don’t care to be bombarded with alcohol. It’s for those who are younger or older or any age. Like the Rooster, Booker and Kaiden just want a safe place for queer folk to hang out and be themselves.

Most of the same staff is floating between the Rooster and the cafe, but they are hiring. So get yourself a coffee or smoothie, and pull up a book or sit and chat for hours with a friend.

Opening Day for the new cafe, and Booker felt anxious; he could remember feeling much the same way when the Rooster opened. He, Kaiden, and the rest of their staff at the bar told customers about the cafe as soon as they really began to work on bringing it to life. Booker figured that at least some of their regulars would show up. But he was also hoping for other people too.

Even with his nervousness about things going wrong (his mental reminders that things go wrong all the time, but he and his staff know how to bounce back wasn’t quite working), he was excited too. He’d dressed in nicer versions of his usual clothing. His beard had been trimmed up, and his hair actually had some product in it today. He was wearing a rainbow eye patch today that matched his tie.

It was quiet in the cafe, but they had only been open for a little while now. Booker was drinking a cold brew as he moved around the cafe, nervously touching everything and just rearranging them so.

Welcome to a new cafe!

The Staff:
Owners: Booker Bainbridge & Kaiden Cooper
Baristas & Book Club Runner: Daisy Prewett
Still hiring more staff :D
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 08:30:53 AM by in a beard of glory »
I don't want to bathe
I'm afraid I'll lose your smell
I don't want to sleep
In case you have to go

February 16, 2022, 08:27:34 AM
Reply #1

tattooed solace

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Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2022, 08:27:34 AM »
Opening days were always filled with excitement and anxiety. Would people be interested in visiting the Wilde Bean? It was certainly an unusual concept, a queer-centered cafe, but considering how much people enjoyed the Rooster, Kaiden had faith that people would come. If it was anything like their bar, they would get off to a slow start, but eventually they would have a regular customer base supplemented by semi-regulars and random people alike. It would just take time.

He'd done this before with the Inkwell and the Rooster. He knew how these things went. Except that knowledge didn't really calm him down. He wanted people to fall in love with the Wilde Bean like they loved his other businesses. They just had to be patient.

Kaiden didn't schedule any appointments at the Inkwell for the day, and he didn't have plans to go to the Rooster until later this evening so he could be here for the official opening. They had hired a couple of people to staff the Bean, but a few of the bar's staff would be supplementing their team until they could get enough people to man the cafe full time. There was a help wanted sign in the window and applications behind the counter, just in case anyone wanted to join their team.*

He had largely put his nerves on the back burner, because he could tell Booker was particularly anxious about opening the cafe. Getting it off the ground hadn't been the easiest process, especially after their discussion over Damon, but they got there. Now they just had to get customers in the door. Kaiden came out of the back with a box of supplies in his arms, and he set it down on the back counter when he spied his husband anxiously readjusting everything. A soft smile crossed the tattoo artist's lips, and he made his way over to Booker.


"Hoping to imbue everything with a little bit of magic from your touch?" he teased his husband with a smirk as he slipped one arm around Booker's waist. "They will come. Just need to give it a little bit of time." They had both been through this before, but it had been a while ago. Kaiden tilted his head and rested it on Booker's chest. He knew there was no dissipating the anxiety, but hopefully a little physical connection could help.

Then he heard the door open, and he turned his head to see who had arrived. He was excited to see a young woman he had never met before. She was blonde, maybe early twenties, and she looked a little apprehensive walking in. But eventually, she approached the counter, and Alan took her order. Kaiden smiled appreciatively.
"See? Our first customer." Who knew how long the young woman was going to stay, but he didn't think it mattered. Someone had stopped in, and more people would eventually follow suit. They just had to stay patient.

Easier said than done, but Kaiden was trying.

* If you have a queer character who is interested in working at the Wilde Bean, holla at me or Ash.

February 16, 2022, 01:29:16 PM
Reply #2

in a beard of glory

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  • Beaumont Booker Bainbridge

    • Pronouns: he/him


  • Location: The Rooster ^_^
Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2022, 01:29:16 PM »
Booker relaxed into Kaiden’s touch as he felt an arm slip around his waist. Things with Kaiden were going well. They had been kept so busy with getting The Wilde Bean ready to open, keeping the Rooster going, as well as keeping Sage alive and healthy. Then, of course, Kaiden had the additional pressure of the Inkwell. They hadn’t really broached the topic of Damon and Liam since that first fight all those months ago, a fight that had left them both... unsatisfied. There was lingering tension between them, Booker felt. It wasn’t around all the time, and he wasn’t worried about their relationship because of it... but it was there.

He was grateful, actually, for the jitters of the opening. Grateful that Kaiden’s touch grounded him. He smiled at the gentle teasing and pressed a kiss to the top of Kaiden’s head.


“So, you are admitting that I have a magical touch?” He asked, brow jutting up comically high. Then he sighed and nodded his head. “I know I need to give it time.” But there was the worry that no one would show up. Or only their friends would, and he supposed that that was better than nothing, but it still made him anxious. He wanted the cafe to do good because he felt like it could be important for people.

Sometimes when he thought of that, it made him feel funny like he was thinking too highly of himself and his ideas, but that wasn’t the case. Society was getting more accepting of queer people, but there was still so much fear and pain and trauma and... such a long way to go. He thought opening spaces like the Wilde Bean and the Rooster were important, and he wished they had existed when he was younger, especially a place like this.

He looked up as a customer came in, and he tensed. Watching as she approached the counter and made an order. Kaiden pointed her out, and Booker glanced down at him.


“We probably shouldn’t stare at her. Do you have a minute to just sit with me?” He asked, and he began to lead the way to the reading nook. He had a chair that was his favorite, and he knew Kaiden knew it was his favorite. He sat down, and wondered if it would be too inappropriate to pull Kaiden down on his lap or not, then thought: fuck it. It wasn’t like he was intending on snogging him. He just wanted to feel his weight on his lap; it comforted him, so he gently tugged Kaiden towards his lap.

He figured they could spy on the customer a little less obvious from here.


“Shh, no one will suspect us watching from here,” he whispered.
I don't want to bathe
I'm afraid I'll lose your smell
I don't want to sleep
In case you have to go

April 05, 2022, 02:59:40 PM
Reply #3

tattooed solace

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Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2022, 02:59:40 PM »
There was nothing like opening day jitters. Kaiden was intimately familiar with them, having done this twice already, but his experience didn't necessarily make it easier. At least they had found a different accountant. He and Booker still hadn't fully discussed their fight over Damon, and Kaiden felt it sometimes. Booker wanted to stay connected with Liam's ex, which baffled Kaiden, but they had been working through the tension if not naming it.

Thankfully, it wasn't present on this day, since they were too worried about so many other things to focus on their fraught relationship with Damon. It felt good to open a new business with Booker, to know that the pair of them were trying to make London a little more queer friendly. That was what Kaiden wanted to focus on today, nothing else.

He snickered as his husband cracked a joke.
"You've heard me in bed, you know you've got a magic touch," he replied softly with a smirk, gently leaning on Booker. But they weren't here to make sex jokes, they were here to sell coffee to queer people. "Just have a little more patience, love," Kaiden encouraged Book. Their customers weren't here yet, but they would be soon. Or eventually. They would come, that was the point.

Then their first customer walked in, and the tattoo artist couldn't help but stare. It was probably awkward, but he wanted to know how it would go... But Booker was right, they needed to stop watching. Kaiden sighed heavily, but eventually he nodded his head.
"I have all the time in the world to sit with you," he answered. Yes, they were opening a cafe today, but they had enough staff to cover him, especially since he wouldn't be able to be at the Wilde Bean every day since he had the Inkwell and Rooster too. If Book wanted to sit, then sit they would.

His husband guided him over to what Kaiden knew was Booker's favorite armchair. He started to sit down in the adjacent chair, but Booker pulled him onto his lap instead, which made the tattoo artist smile. Kaiden settled into a comfortable position against the arm of the chair, and the moment Booker commented on watching, the artist turned his head to watch Alan hand over a cup of coffee. Kaiden had no idea what the woman had ordered, but as she took a sip of her drink, she seemed happy enough with it.
"That seems like it went well?" he commented, though it was a little hard to tell. The blonde was drinking her coffee, at least, so that was a good sign.

But she didn't stick around. Once she had her drink, she walked out of the Wilde Bean.
"I'm sure that's normal," Kaiden mentioned as he watched her go. "How often do you have time to just sit in a cafe at this time of day?" Merlin knew that if he stopped for coffee in the morning, it was usually on his way to work at the Inkwell or the Rooster... or the Wilde Bean nowadays. People had places to be in the mornings. They didn't always have the time to linger.

About a minute after the woman left, Kaiden heard the door open again. This time there were two customers who walked in, a pair of men who looked like they had just graduated from Hogwarts within the last couple years. They were holding hands, and the artist intentionally turned to face his husband before he beamed with delight.
"A couple of gay boys," he practically sang out of happiness. He knew it would be weird if he turned around and kept watching them place their order, so he kept his focus on Booker. "We're really doing this again, Book," he said, a little bit of awe in his voice. "There's a part of me that can't believe it, since we have so much else going on, but... I'm glad you talked me into this. It feels good." Kaiden had been invited to launch the Wilde Bean, but the cafe, just like the Rooster, had been Booker's idea. Maybe Kaiden would've come up with something like this eventually, but it was Booker that made it a reality.

Being in love was hard, but damn if it didn't feel good working as a team. When they were on the same page, they were unstoppable.

And when they weren't on the same page, well... Kaiden wasn't going to focus on those times now. He just wanted to think about how much good the Wilde Bean was going to do for the queer community in London.

June 14, 2022, 06:34:45 AM
Reply #4

in a beard of glory

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  • Beaumont Booker Bainbridge

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  • Location: The Rooster ^_^
Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2022, 06:34:45 AM »
“Lately? I’ve been staying in cafes awhile,” Booker said, trying not to frown as the woman left. He thought she looked happy after taking her sip of what she had ordered. Hopefully, she liked it enough to make popping into this cafe part of her morning routine. He knew that Kaiden was right, though. Many people tended to just pop into cafes to get what they wanted to order and then leave. Especially in the mornings when they had other places to be. “But I understand,” he said. “I was mostly sticking around other cafes to see how they do it,” he laughed. “Sage has become an excellent people watcher with me. He’s also learned how to wheedle treats out of baristas.”

He knew that for the Wilde Bean to survive and ultimately thrive, they needed people just buying the drinks and food they made. He knew that many times, people came into cafes and would stay for hours and only buy one thing. That wouldn’t necessarily help their bottom line any… but.. Booker wanted that. He wanted the community. He wanted the Wilde Bean to feel like a safe haven for those who needed it. A place of fun for those who wanted it. Because a cafe offered more space than a bar did.

But communities didn’t just start instantly.

He had to be patient.

Then a couple walked in, and Booker couldn’t help but smile. He chuckled as Kaiden practically sang. Then he smiled softly as Kaiden spoke more and nodded his head.


“There is no one in this world I would rather be doing this with than you, Kaiden.” And he meant it. They were damn good partners in so many areas of their lives. None of their partnerships were perfect, but he felt they knew how to work together. How to make things good. Even with problems and tensions sometimes.

“I know we can’t make the world a better place for everyone,” Booker said quietly. “But if we can just… offer space for someone who needs it. I dunno…” he didn’t know what he was trying to say. But he felt good about this venture.

The young couple got their drinks and, still holding hands, went and sat at a table.

Booker grinned even more. He gave Kaiden’s waist a squeeze.
I don't want to bathe
I'm afraid I'll lose your smell
I don't want to sleep
In case you have to go

July 11, 2022, 03:24:18 PM
Reply #5

tattooed solace

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Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2022, 03:24:18 PM »
Of course Booker had a smart comeback. Of course he did. Kaiden just narrowed his eyes at his husband for a few seconds before shaking his head and grinning. "Yes, you and every other Muggle college student around," he replied, sticking his tongue out. "Meanwhile us working adults have places to be." His tone was playful. He knew exactly why Booker had spent so much time in coffeeshops lately, and they were sitting in it. Booker and Liam had done the same thing with bars years ago when they were planning to open the Rooster. Kaiden wouldn't have expected anything less.

And it was equally unsurprising that their son had discovered how to worm treats out of the staff of those coffeeshops. The artist rolled his eyes and snickered softly.
"He would," he remarked. Sage had a natural charisma to him. Kaiden had no clue whether it was the intrinsic nature of being a toddler or being nurtured by a particularly outgoing father that made him so good with people, but there was no denying that fact. Whenever Sage smiled, people practically melted, his fathers included. "At some point, we should teach him he can't just have a pastry every time he walks into a coffeeshop..." Kaiden murmured, but he knew today was not that day. Honestly, that day probably wouldn't come for years. How was anyone supposed to say no to that cute face?

The Wilde Bean was starting to get a small trickle of customers though, so he tried to focus on that. The young woman left, but a new couple had walked in, so Kaiden was trying very hard not to be a creep. Maybe it would be understandable if the boys knew that he was an owner of this brand new cafe, but the artist didn't want to put that onus on them.

But he was not above a sideline glance over his shoulder to see what was happening. Alan handed one of the boys a small paper bag, meaning they had bought baked goods, and then the bartender-turned-barista went off to make the customers' drinks.

Good.

He looked back at his husband, and a soft smile crept onto his lips as Booker shared his feelings. The pair of co-owners, husbands, and fathers were on the exact same page in that regard.
"There's no one else I think I could do this with," he replied sincerely. Killian seemed content to own one business, and he wasn't gay anyway. Melody was a sweetheart, but if her barista skills were as good as her bartending skills, maybe it was best that she stayed with the Inkwell instead of venturing into the world of owning a coffeeshop. Everyone else in his life was too busy (or too straight) to open a gay cafe, so who else could've joined him but Booker? The Wilde Bean had been his idea anyway.

But it was more than that. Because they had been friends for so long, because Kaiden had jumped into Liam's role in the Rooster after the latter's death, he had experience working with Booker in a variety of capacities, and frankly, they were good at it. So many people didn't want to work with their spouses for a variety of (mostly) valid reasons, but Kaiden wouldn't have it any other way. Booker was his partner in nearly every aspect of his life, and he never wanted that to change.

Especially because Book was so dedicated to expanding the queer community in London. He wanted to help everyone (which had made Kaiden wonder why he was put in Ravenclaw and not Hufflepuff when he was sorted, but Kai also wasn't complaining), but he knew that wasn't feasible, so he wanted to help who he could.
"I do," Kaiden replied after his husband trailed off. "You wanna help people, because you are a good man, and I love that about you. I'd even be willing to say that was one of the reasons why I married you." He chuckled quietly, and he pressed a kiss to the side of Booker's head when his waist was squeezed. "I love you," he said at little more than a whisper. He could've yelled about it if he wanted to, since he was in a safe space, but no. This moment deserved a quiet gravity.

Kaiden looked over his shoulder once more and noticed that the pair of boys had sat down to share their coffees and baked goods. He exhaled out of his nose and cracked a smile before his gaze returned to Booker.
"Do you remember those days? Fresh out of Hogwarts and trying to make your way in the world as a gay man?" The years after his graduation had been hellish, considering there was still a war raging, but he and Booker had both come out as gay long before the world started to accept queer people. Some would've told them that they made their lives harder on themselves, but they couldn't control who they loved. It was nice to see two boys sitting together in their gay cafe. Kaiden didn't want any queer youth to have to discover and come to terms with their sexuality on their own, so if the Wilde Bean could help in any way, then he and Booker had done their jobs.

November 29, 2022, 06:04:40 AM
Reply #6

in a beard of glory

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  • Beaumont Booker Bainbridge

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  • Location: The Rooster ^_^
Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2022, 06:04:40 AM »
“That is going to be one harsh lesson for Sage to learn,” Booker said with a chuckle. He doubted Sage would learn the lesson that not every coffeeshop offered free pastries to toddlers at The Wilde Bean. They would ply Sage with all kinds of free treats when he stepped into this particular shop. But other ones his cuteness might not work on, and besides, Booker preferred paying for his and his son’s things. He knew how much money and work when into keeping a business afloat. Especially for the small businesses like his.

Booker wasn’t entirely sure he was always a good man. Sometimes he felt like he could be better. That there were times he could have done more to help others out. He can recall being quite selfish after the death of Liam. All Booker can remember from that time was being sad and then obsessed with opening The Rooster. He didn’t think at the time he was thinking of the broader queer community then. All that had mattered to him was opening the bar that he and Liam had dreamt of. He had needed to do it in Liam’s honor. He poured his damn heart and grief into it.

The fact it offered a safe space for queer folk was a second, maybe even a third, thought back then. It wasn’t until he had finally clawed his way over some of the grief (grief never ends, there is no defeating it, or overcoming it completely — even when your late husband turns out to be a killer and a liar, love and grief doesn’t just go away. At least not for Booker) that he realized just what the Rooster could be for others. And then as more time passed, he began to realize that while the Rooster was a place for so many people there were even more people being left out because it was a bar.

Not every person feels comfortable around alcohol.

And so he wanted to create a safe spot for queer folk who didn’t drink or were too young to drink or simply just didn’t like bars. Whatever the reason the Rooster wouldn’t work for them, he wanted to offer a space for those people.

A cafe won’t be the place for everyone, but it will at least offer more space.


“I think I’m becoming a better man as I get older, and I think I have you to thank for that. And Sage, too.”

Kaiden had helped Booker climb out of the pit grief had trapped him in. He had always loved Kaiden. Back in Hogwarts when Liam was standing in the way it had been, the way a friend loves another friend. He and Kai had always been drawn to one another. Eventually, the love shifted, and Booker still can’t believe how fucking lucky he is that it did. That it was a mutual shift. He can’t imagine this life with anyone else.

“I love you too,” Booker murmured, just as quietly as Kaiden had.

At Kaiden’s question, Booker shook his head, a faint grin on his face.
“I was such a mess back then, even before Liam...” Liam seemed to always overshadow things, even when Booker didn’t want him to. “I lucked out more than some. My family always accepted me and I had friends who understood or were like me. I can’t even imagine where I would be today if my family hadn’t accepted me, and if I hadn’t had queer friends. We didn’t have an actual space to go to, but we at least had each other. I have no idea what I’m saying,” Booker said, with a laugh.

Even now, with people being more open and accepting, there were so many young folks who didn’t luck out like Booker did. Whose families kick them out. Who aren’t able to find friends like them. He can’t fully imagine that kind of loneliness of being surrounded by people who can’t or won’t accept you. He really hopes that those people somehow find The Wilde Bean. Somehow find the community Booker is trying to make with the help of everyone around him.

The sap is really strong with Booker right now.
I don't want to bathe
I'm afraid I'll lose your smell
I don't want to sleep
In case you have to go

January 18, 2023, 11:17:36 AM
Reply #7

tattooed solace

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Re: [London] The Wilde Bean [open]
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2023, 11:17:36 AM »
Kaiden snickered at the thought of their son. Sage would always be welcome to free pastries at the Wilde Bean, given the fact that his fathers owned the place and all, but this would be the only place where he had that privilege before long. He was getting older, and eventually they would have to teach him that he had to pay for things, especially at small businesses. Kaiden didn't think that would be terribly difficult, since he and his husband owned three small businesses between the pair of them, but who knew. He had never raised a child before.

Luckily, they had their own parents who had raised three children collectively. Kaiden's parents and the Bainbridges had been wonderfully helpful by providing advice and babysitting when both of Sage's dads had to work. They had a community to raise their son, and Kaiden was grateful for them.

The Coopers and Bainbridges had raised two good men, Kaiden had never doubted that. He wouldn't have married Booker if he wasn't a good man after all. But Book almost seemed to question the label his husband ascribed to him, and Kaiden furrowed his brow for a moment. Something felt off, and he couldn't quite place what it was.
"You've always been a good man, but I suppose there's always room for improvement," he remarked evenly as his eyes scanned Booker's face. He paused for a moment, trying to make a decision. Then he finally said, "How are you doing?" There was no judgment in his question. Kaiden simply wanted to check in on his beloved husband.

Booker had been a pillar in his life long before they started dating. They had started as friends, and honestly, Kaiden thought that had improved their romantic relationship. On some level, he had felt like a third wheel with Booker and Liam after they graduated. He didn't want to just cling to them all the time, even if they had been his best friends. They also needed their space... and Kaiden had a war to fight. Not that he had really intended to do so, but when his DA coin had burned in his pocket, he never questioned whether he should go to Hogwarts or not. He just went.

His post-graduation years had been tumultuous because of the war, but he was grateful that his personal life had been easier. His parents had embraced him after he came out in the summer before fifth year, and he knew so many queer people who weren't so lucky. Booker seemed to be thinking the same thing about his parents. Both of them had queer friends at that age, but there was no Rooster or Wilde Bean in London, at least not that they knew of.
"You're saying that the queer community exists, and now it's nice that we can provide places where those community members can go to be in community with other queer people," Kaiden picked up the loose thread of Booker's thoughts. It was a bit of a bummer that they had to sell goods in order to create those spaces, but he didn't dwell on it for too long. If people just wanted to come and sit in the Rooster or Wilde Bean without spending money, he was happy to have them all the same. Kaiden just wanted to keep his community safe and happy, no matter what it took to provide that, and he was proud that they were able to create this space.

He watched a middle-aged woman walk into the coffeeshop, look around for a moment, and then approach the counter. They figured the Wilde Bean would be popular with younger people, but older generations could be hit or miss. Kaiden smiled at the woman while she placed her order.
"So how long before you think this place will be bumpin'?" he asked Booker with a chuckle. It could take a while for the crowds to swell at small businesses (if they ever did), but Kaiden had faith in this place. There were too many queer Londoners for it to fail, and he knew his community would take care of this little coffeeshop, just as it took care of them.