Tucked into a small, quiet corner of Mt. Vernon, a decades-old dream is being lived out in full.
Baby’s On Fire, a record shop and cafe, celebrates a year in business this June, and even on a recent weekday morning, the business was bustling with patrons. At every table in the small cafe, people sat sipping coffee, working on laptops and browsing bins of used and new records.
The pastry display was impeccable, and the record selection just large enough to include tastes for everyone. The vibe is European with a touch of Portland, Ore., and without the high-maintenance snobbery stereotypical of either.
Baby’s On Fire owners David and Shirlé Koslowski have been involved in the Baltimore music scene since the city’s post-punk heyday of the early 90’s, performing in bands like Liquor Bike, Womyn of Destruction, Gerty and Vivid Low Sky.
While they left town briefly for a stint in North Carolina, they sold the successful catering business they started there to follow their dreams of combining their loves of food and music back in Baltimore. It took more than a decade, but that dream was realized last June with the opening of their cafe.
Their attention to detail does not disappoint. What is not made fresh in-house is flown in from Seattle (Stumptown Coffee) and Belgium (most of their pastries). Behind the scenes, a full commercial kitchen backs up to the cafe, with a window for prime gawking.
In addition to the food being made for diners out front, a second business is run simultaneously out of the kitchen. Shirlé is also the owner of personal chef service Four Corners Cuisine. She makes and delivers food almost anywhere within a thirty-minute radius of her kitchen. She has been known to serve the Baltimore Ravens, and has even done food styling for “House of Cards.”
In the meantime, David has built a successful career as a designer, in addition to curating the vinyl selection for the shop.
The couple had the idea for their shop for nearly twenty years. Their mission was to open a cool and comfortable space where their community could get together for smart conversations about music, records and life while enjoying a great cup of coffee and a delicious meal. Mission accomplished.