It's an iconic Beacon experience: Wrapping up the day with coffee or beer on the patio, under tree branches strung with twinkling lights, or imbibing on a balmy afternoon as breezes gust through the outdoor tables of Bank Square Coffeehouse, set between the Hudson River and Mount Beacon. Being the first storefront on Main Street off of 9D (aka Wolcott Ave.), up the hill from the train station, Bank Square's location is prime. Main Street parades often begin there, and overall, the coffee shop is an easy landmark when people are meeting up or discussing something going on in town.
The Bank Square Coffeehouse experience is partially responsible for the many happy walkers, diners and shoppers down on the West End of Beacon, toward the train station. Owners of boutiques, art galleries, and other shops down on the other end of town (aka the "East End") near the mountain continuously wish for more foot traffic, and think longingly of Bank Square. They had been overheard, wishing aloud: "If only we had a Bank Square down here..."
Two-Time Beacon Business Owners Open Second Coffeehouse on East End of Town
That dream came true when Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters opened in the newly renovated factory building at 1 East Main. Trax is the third business from Beacon business owners Buddy Behney and Katy Bell Behney. They own Bank Square Coffeehouse, which opened in 2009 in the longtime Muddy Cup space, and they can be found almost any day of the week across the street at their retail shop, Mountain Tops Outfitters, which opened in 2006. We reached out to Katy to learn more about the inspiration to open Trax.
ALBB: Had you considered opening a second location earlier?
Katy Bell Behney: "Yes, it’s always been in the back of our minds, whether it be in Beacon or a nearby town. We had been roasting more of our own beans. Having a new space gave us a new venue to do more of that. We hired our manager to help with the roasting: Kurt Balogh. We knew him from Coffee Labs, where we get our coffee for Bank Square. Kurt had worked for a roasting company down in Brooklyn, and was interested in working more with us. He lives in Yonkers and makes the commute up here to act as manager and roaster of Trax."
ALBB: Did any of the shop owners from the East End of town beg you to open up down there?
Katy Bell Behney: "We were approached about putting a coffee shop in there. We looked at the space, not thinking that we would. But once we saw the space, we fell in love with it. Seeing all of the activity going on at that end of town, we thought it would be an interesting opportunity to try a second location. We knew that they wanted a coffee shop there, so we figured we would give it a try. We were flattered that they approached us about it. That encouraged us."
Editor's Note! We dug a little deeper to find out who planted the seed in Katy and Buddy's mind, and learned that it was Charlotte Guernsey, another three-time Beacon business owner. Charlotte says: "Yes, it was me! I wanted their coffee and the foot traffic!" Charlotte owns Gatehouse Realty, the office of which is located on the East End of town, as well as Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique, located in the 1 East Main building with Trax, and also designed the wedding venue Lambs Hill on Mount Beacon.
ALBB: The decor is quite different from Bank Square - what was your thinking there?
Katy Bell Behney: "We wanted to make it a little simpler and stay true to the old building, with the beams that were already there. We wanted to play off of those. We have the old Tuck Tape Industries sign (more about Tuck here) that we salvaged a while back that we didn’t have a place for, and then we found this place. We also have an old billboard sign that came from a local shop. The bar in the window is used from the building next door - from the 1800s."
ALBB: The logo of the train spike is interesting - who came up with it?
Katy Bell Behney: Credit goes to Buddy on the logo. He and his friend who is a designer came up with the logo. We wanted to play off of the location. Bank Square is called Bank Square because it’s located in the Bank Square part of town. Being on the tracks, we came up with the name Trax. We just thought it looked cool.