By Rod Lee
Motorists heading north or south in Uxbridge in recent months probably said to themselves “another empty storefront” when they passed the small building at 336 N. Main St.
The Cupcake Girl was gone, relocating to more fertile territory on the Mendon-Bellingham town line.
But then up popped The Valley Bean, a new-to-the-scene breakfast-and-lunch restaurant owned by Eric and Jennifer Visbeek of Uxbridge.
Situated next to Chevere and open for a little over a month now, The Valley Bean offers what Ms. Visbeek describes as “quality food and hometown service.” Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are a staple. The menu is extensive, consisting of everything from bagels, cinnamon rolls, croissants, doughnuts, Danish, English muffins, two eggs-with-meat-home fries- and toast to salads, soups and such noon hour-attractions as Pastrami Melt, Chicken Cordon-Bleu and The Cape Codder.
New England Coffee and other beverages are available too.
As a reflection of Ms. Visbeek’s sentiments when it comes to sports teams (she was wearing a “champions” cap and “New England Football” shirt when we spoke), daily specials include the “Teddy Bruschi” (turkey and spinach smothered in honey mustard), “The Gronk” (roast beef, horseradish, onions, hot peppers and American cheese), the “Tom Brady” (grilled chicken breast bathed in honey mustard, with lettuce, tomato and onion) and the “Matty Light” (fresh spinach, onions, peppers, black olives, feta cheese and a honey French dressing served on a rollup).
Asked if the Patriots-themed sandwiches are popular, she said “oh yeah!”
“Ninety percent of the menu is made in-house from scratch,” she said. “I get the bagels and doughnuts from The Bistro in Westborough. You can’t beat him” for those, she said. “I make about four batches of clam chowder a week. Soups and salads are going well.”
The Valley Bean draws on Ms. Visbeek’s nearly two decades’ experience in the restaurant business. It almost didn’t happen, she said the morning of February 1st—one day after having a tooth extracted that left her in too much pain to be interviewed.
“We were supposed to move away a few years ago but then the grandchildren came along,” she said. “I wanted to move somewhere warmer.” When she and her husband decided to stay and she began looking around for a suitable spot to start a new restaurant, her eye fell on the one empty slot in a building that already housed three businesses: Chevere (a chic boutique and “the place to bead”) in front and Kuik Electric (electrical contracting) and Hair Tekniques (a salon) in back.
“If it wasn’t for my father-in-law, George Visbeek, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said, of the two months of remodeling that has turned the space into an inviting stop for coffee-and to go, or to eat in. A menu board will be going up behind the counter soon and “a whole bench will be going along one wall” to create additional seating.
Ms. Visbeek notes that parking to the rear of the building has been expanded to about twenty spaces to augment the limited parking in front. The rear lot can be accessed by way of a driveway on the side of the building, or from Hartford Ave.
The Valley Bean is open seven days a week; 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6-2 on Saturdays and 6-1 on Sundays.
The Valley Bean is still coming together. Meanwhile it is off to a promising start. The only downside, she said, is “I’m here from 4:00 in the morning until 6:00 or 7:00 at night. “I’m looking to hire one more employee” to go with those who already work for her “because I can’t get a day off!”
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.