Beany Green South Bank (COVID-19 Update)

The colourful front of the Beany Green container on the South Bank at the foot of Hungerford Bridge.The container is back! Yes, that’s right, Beany Green, that little container of sunshine at the foot of the Hungerford Bridge on the South Bank, is back! It had actually reopened a few weeks ago, but when I went up to London in mid-July, I discovered that it was closed again due to essential bridge repairs. However, I was not to be denied and, when I went through London on Monday, I made of a point of calling in to find that it was open again!

For those that don’t know, this is one of the original Beany Green coffee shops, which opened in June 2014. These days it’s more a bar serving good coffee, although during the day it still has a coffee shop vibe. Essentially an outdoor operation, it hasn’t been too badly affected by COVID-19, although it (and the surrounding area) is much quieter than it used to be.

You can see what else I found after the gallery.

  • A welcome sight on the South Bank, at the foot of the Hungerford Bridge.
  • I say welcome, because I was there just three weeks before when this sight greeted me!
  • Although it had reopened, Beany Green had to close again due to maintenance work.
  • Fortunately, as the sign promised, it reopened two weeks ago, hopefully for good this time!
  • As you approach, check out the tape on the pavement. This is for the queuing system...
  • ... which kicks in during the evenings and at weekends, when Beany Green gets busy.
  • The view from the queue. Well, from where the queue would be if there was one.
  • And the view from the other side.
  • This, by the way, was what it was like when I first visited in 2014.
  • There has been quite a few changes since then, including new tables and an expanded...
  • ... outside seating area. And with more astroturf too!
  • Those old tables/benches though? They haven't gone very far...
  • ... they've just been re-purposed as flower boxes (having previously been missle boxes).
  • There are more flowers these days, including these on poles...
  • ... with the oil drums doubling as standing tables for when it gets busy.
  • The Beany Green container in all its glory...
  • ... compared to how it looked in 2014. Obviously, there's been a change of decor...
  • ... although not everything has changed. At the top of the container, Beany is spelt out...
  • ... in light bulbs, which date all the way back to its opening in 2014.
  • Anyway, Beany is back and wants to know if you'd like to meet up.
  • Can't disagree with that!
  • Let's get down to business. You order to the right, and collect to the left...
  • ... where you'll also find the menu on the inside of the left-hand door.
  • The alcohol menu, meanwhile, is on the counter top...
  • ... while you can also see some of what's on by looking at the beer taps to the left.
  • The right-hand side is the domain of the espresso machine, a two-group La Marzocco.
  • All the cakes had gone when I arrived, but here are some Lamingtons from a previous viist.
  • I had a flat white, served in a disposable cup.
  • The latte art is worth a second look, particularly since I was about to destroy it...
  • ... by pouring it into my HuskeeCup (which the staff can't accept due to COVID-19).
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Beany Green had been open for all of two weeks when essential bridge repairs in mid-July forced it to close again, to the frustration of all concerned. The good news is that it’s now back, this time (hopefully) for good, making it the only speciality coffee reopening that I’m aware of in the vicinity of Waterloo Station.

When I first visited in July 2014, Beany Green was a coffee shop in a shipping container, serving mostly takeaway customers, a handful of benches providing seating for anyone wishing to stay. Since then, both it and its surroundings have evolved considerably, with the South Bank becoming more of a destination than somewhere to pass through on the way across the river, particularly in the summer.

These days, Beany Green is an outdoor bar, complete with seating area. The narrow benches that I remember have long since gone, although, pleasingly, they have been repurposed as flower boxes. Eight four-person picnic tables with benches have replaced them, seven of which are on the triangular strip of astroturf in front of Beany Green. They’re well-separated, so each can accommodate a different group and still maintain social distance. Those nearest the bridge were nicely shaded by it when I was there at 3pm. The eighth table is even more distanced, on its own little triangle of astroturf to the right, at the base of the steps to Hungerford Bridge. There’s also a small, sheltered seating area under the steps themselves. Very popular during inclement weather, this is currently off-limits due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Beany Green gets particularly busy at weekends and during the evenings (despite COVID-19, it’s still open until 11pm except on Monday and Tuesday), when a queueing system kicks in to ensure everyone keeps their distance when ordering. The good news is that throughout all the changes, the good coffee has remained, the concise espresso-based menu powered by Beany Green’s bespoke blend from The Roasting Party offering espressos, Americanos, flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos.

Turning to alcohol, there are four beers, cider and sparkling wine on tap, along with a choice of white, red and rose wine, plus six cocktails. One small change due to COVID-19 is the cake selection, which has been reduced to Lamingtons and cookies (all of which had gone by the time I arrived). In pre-COVID times, there was a larger range of cakes (Beany Green stopped doing sandwiches and wraps in 2016), the staff encouraging customers to bring other food from the surroundings stalls (all sadly absent at the moment) to drink with their coffee/beer.

Since it was mid-afternoon, I decided to have a flat white. This was served in a disposable cup since, due to COVID-19, the staff aren’t accepting customers own cups, although there’s nothing stopping you from pouring your coffee into your own cup once you’ve been served, which is what I did with my HuskeeCup. My flat white was very smooth and sweet, as I’ve come to expect Beany Green, the perfect welcome back.

December 2020: Beany Green, South Bank was a runner-up for the 2020 Best Outdoor Seating Award.

Monday 09:00 – 18:00 Roaster Roasting Party (espresso only)
Tuesday 09:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 23:00 Food Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 23:00 Service Counter
Friday 09:00 – 23:00 Payment Card Only
Saturday 09:00 – 23:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 23:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits Original: 3rd July 2014
Update: 3rd August 2020

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to London for more great Coffee Spots. You can also see what I made of all the other branches of Beany Green that I’ve visited.

Disclaimer: Daisy Green, the parent company of Beany Green, launched a bond in 2015 to fund future expansion. I was an investor in this bond, which has since been repaid. I am now an investor in Daisy Green as part of a round of further investment funding. My decision to write about Beany Green was in no way influenced by my investment.

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2 thoughts on “Beany Green South Bank (COVID-19 Update)

  1. Pingback: Beany Green, South Bank | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Best Outdoor Seating | Brian's Coffee Spot

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