February 27, 2007

February 27, 2007


The Comments and Postings on This Message Board may Have been Quiet for the Last Week, but, Our Phones and Offices Certainly Have Not.

We Have had Six, Yes 6 Different Coffee Shops Contact us, in the Last 5 Days, Expressing Interest in Opening a Store, At one of The Locations on Frederick Rd. Readers May or May Not be Pleased to Know that, They Are All Indies (Read.... NO STARBUCKS). Some of These Entrepreneurs Have Locations Already, While Others Are Start-Ups. I Can't Help but Ask, Can Another Coffee Shop Exist on Frederick Rd. with Sam's Bagels, Dunkin Donuts, Friendly's, Coffee Junction, 7-11, and McDonald's?

The Calls are Still Coming In For: Second Hand Stores, Bail Bondsmen, Check Cashing Establishments, Florists, Car Rental's and a mix of Other Interesting Businesses.

This is Where The Readers of Our Blog Can have a True Effect on the Community. Please Tell us if There are any Types of Businesses that you Don't Want to See in the 800 Block of Frederick Rd.


A.J. said...

To be honest, I don't want to see a check cashing place or a bail bondsmen. Those places are understandable but not on a Main street. I would like to see our downtown a little more like Main street in Ellicott city. I would love more places to eat but until a parking deck or another parking solution is built that will be hard to achieve. A French Bakery, an antique store, a book store (new or used), a second hand store, a Homegoods type of place would be really great. Speaking of French Bakeries, a place like Bonaparte's that has establishments in Savage Mill and Fells Point would be incredible. On the coffee topic....coffee from a coffee "house" is not the same as 7-11. They are different and I think there is room for more coffee. From reading the comments people seem to want places to go with families or by themselves that don't require jumping in your car. A small town feel, just a small hop from the city.

Kevin said...

The Catonsville community could definitely support another coffee shop. However, I do not believe another Duncan Donuts or something like it would work. Currently in the village there is no comfortable place to sit down and enjoy a good cup of coffee while reading, talking with friends, browsing the Internet on your laptop or listening to good light music. Coffee shops attract young people too and in our case the UMBC crowd goes to Ellicott City for coffee bypassing Catonsville. Ideally the shop would include quality pastries, muffins and sweets. To be comfortable it would need appropriate furniture, nice lighting and wireless internet connectivity allowing people Internet access such as web browsing, e-mail and students a way to do homework. Also, the location is great and it would compliment the Ships Café and Jennings with a place to go after dinner for relaxing conversation. Catonsville lacks a gift shop and this would be a great compliment to the coffee shop. There is no where to go to get a good card. It could include small items like local pottery, local crafts, high end food products, cards, stationary and books. Perhaps the second floor could be used for this too. Patrons could browse the products while sipping their coffee. Finally, the old hardware location could use a small portion of the parking lot as an outdoor area. There are endless opportunities for the right owner.

Judy said...

Thanks so much for requesting community input. Please - I agree with a.j. and others - No check chashing, bail bondsmen, fast food, dollar stores, nail/tanning places...
An independent coffee shop would be nice, a gift shop, book store, small cafe, Thai or Vietnamense restaurant, soup bar - maybe Atwaters would want to open up here "Atwater's Bakery Soup Bar is a four star restaurant in Baltimore. Here's a place to get good food. This place is located in the North Baltimore area. It's known for its bakery. This place features outdoor dining. Upon entering the restaurant, you'll find a casual atmosphere. This restaurant features catering. This place is good for groups. http://www.openlist.com/restaurants-view-atwaters_bakery_soup_bar.htm"
Thanks for lsitening.

edr said...

How about a bookstore with a small stage for poetry readings, guitar players, etc. which also serves coffee, light food and desserts? There can be a large community bulletin board for patrons to advertise goods and services too. Maybe there can even be a small meeting room that can be rented out or where local art can be displayed. The chains in Catonsville are adequate but not places to spend a leisurely afternoon.

lb said...

Please, no check cashing or bail bondsmen, nails, or tanning. I am not thrilled with a second hand place, I just don't think it will add to our Main Street. I agree that we could use a nice, comfortable coffee place, with pastries/sandwiches.

My preference is still a restaurant/pub, but I understand the liquor restrictions. I would frequent a "bring your own place", I am not sure if there are any "church" restrictions with byo.

Anonymous said...

It seems we already have several coffee shops and florists on Frederick Road. I agree that having a main street area that encourages walking with your family would be wonderful. Cafes, bookstores, shops, etc would all be fantastic. I love the idea of local artwork/pottery. It would be nice to keep prices affordable with regard to food (sandwiches, etc) for lunch, although I wouldn't mind a nicer evening dining establishment (I believe Matthew's is doing well....can Catonsville support another restaurant that has a similar atmosphere?).

A.J. said...

I think that Catonsville can support other restaurants like Matthews as long as they are different. Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. Thats why people leave Catonsville to go out to eat. Matthews, Ships, GL Shacks, Jennings they are all variations on the same theme. Americana. Atmosphere is the only difference. That is why Chef Paolino's is so popular. Chipotles would be great but it is fast food and it would be better in a location where the strip mall where Chef Paolino's used to be. Not on the Main strip. It would do great there and attract a lot of college kids. That is not a substitution for a real Mexican restuarant like La Palapa. I know we are facing an up hill battle with the liquor licenses. But I am just saying. However, we need more and DIFFERENT sit down dinner places. That is why Thai, Sushi, etc sound so appealing to me.

Anonymous said...

Please no Bail Bondsmen, Check Cashing Establishments, or Car Rental's.

Anonymous said...

Having a Panera closer to home would be great.

Over all, I think that Canton would be a better model for this area than Ellicott city. I'd recommend driving through that area and noting what business are thriving there.

Please, no dollar stores, or other business that would draw a questionable crowd. Egad.

hr said...

What about the old hardware building being transformed into something like a Belvedere Square with several different businesses operating under one roof? The building is certainly large enough to accomodate several 'stalls'. Maybe this would be a good way to incorporate the varied interests, pallets and desires of the community. Perhaps this concept would attract some really good stable but smaller businesses including a coffee shop, gift shop, art gallery, produce stand, ethnic food vendor, etc.. . The building may be too large for any one of these types of businesses but perhaps they'd be interested in a 'market' type environment where the rent was a lot less and they could share in the customer draw from each other. I'm curious as to what the others reading this blog think about this concept. If the response is positive I'd love to get involved with making it a reality.

Jessica said...

No coffee shops. Isn't there already one on Frederick Rd? I grew up in Catonsville and ALWAYS went to Ellicott City to eat because there just wasn't anything in Catonsville. Jennings, Matthews, etc. are nice, don't get me wrong - but not exactly hot spots for young people. I say put in a Mexican place or sushi. I'd be thrilled...with or without liquor.

Susan said...

Craig- in my opinion Catonsville needs a coffeehouse style of coffeeshop. I envision a place with a small stage offering entertainment (small jazz/pop combo's: not hard rock or hip-hop); a couple of overstuffed chairs and a sofa for reading with a take one/leave one book rack; maybe a fireplace; brick wall and lots of plants; offering salads,sandwiches, desserts, and of course all types of coffee. If adults/college students want to go out with friends for a few hours and talk, there is no place to go except the bars. Currently there is Panera Bread, but they close at 9:30.
I think there would be a strong market for this, especially with all the college students.

April said...

I agree -- an indie coffee shop can definitely compete, because they're selling "indie-ness" as well as caffeine.

I also agree with A.J. and others -- bail bondsmen/check cashing -- not to sound classist, but I'd like to keep the area prettier than that if we can.

I like Judy's idea of a soup bar!

I also feel a book store of some sort is a great "let's wander around and browse" sort of thing. As it is, I tend to go to Longgate for Border's/B&N (whichever's there), but it would be nice to have a serendipitous place local for browsing.

(Oh, if we're thinking of being like Ellicot City though, can we please have things NOT all close at 5PM?)

I also like HR's idea of modeling on Belevedere Square, with mini-stores, to help people getting started.

So I guess my current dream proposal would include coffee, soup, performance space, books, and being open late.

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