John Krause Big House Beans

Press file photo

John Krause, seen here with his family, is the owner of Big House Beans in Brentwood. He was awarded the contract to operate the new café in the Brentwood Library and expects to be pouring coffee for residents in just a few months.

Brentwood has been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new library’s café, but, unfortunately, the wait will continue for at least a few more months.

In March, the Brentwood City Council chose Big House Beans (BHB) to operate the café, based on its approach to operations and reasonably priced menu offerings. The council considered the company’s ability to offer a unique variety of beverages, specialty coffees, fresh fruit smoothies and natural teas.

“As far as we are concerned, we are just kind of waiting,” said John Krause, who owns BHB. “It takes a long time to get projects up and going behind the scenes.”

Though the waiting is frustrating, Gail Leech, management analyst for the City of Brentwood, said the highest of the hurdles has been crossed and she feels confident that the project will soon be underway.

“We actually have just got a contract with a contractor and they are on board, and right now, we are in submittal phase,” Leech explained. “I think we’ve overcome the biggest hurdle, in terms of getting someone on board to build the project. The project did take a long time to get to this point, but we had a lot of engineering that we had to do.”

Leech said the contractor is Xceed Construction out of Oakland. She further noted that the construction timeline — once it begins — is only 60 days, and she hopes residents will be able to enjoy the new café sometime in the spring.

Krause hasn’t been idle during the interim — in fact, he is working on opening two more BHB locations in Walnut Creek and Oakland. Though he didn’t see expansion happening so soon, he and his family welcome it.

“It’s been a long road and a lot of hard work, so we are excited to grow throughout the East Bay,” he added.

BHB has gained a devoted following in East County since opening in March 2018. A recovered drug addict who was in and out of jail multiple times, Krause pulled himself up to his current status of community member and business owner through hard work and dedication. His aim is to use his business to create jobs for people with barriers to employment.

“We plan on continuing to do that by opening the other cafes in these other cities; we will be able to create a lot more jobs through them,” he said, noting he will be creating 35 new jobs in the new locations.

The library café, as well as the other two shops, will be very similar to the flagship store in Brentwood — they will feature award-winning, story driven coffees roasted in Krause’s Antioch location, and a menu of enticing baked goods and savory treats.

“We are excited, and we are grateful to be a part of all these communities,” Krause said, commenting on his entrepreneurial journey. “It means a lot to us.”

For more information on BHB, visit