Three-year-old Mount Vernon café-record store Baby’s on Fire and legacy Fells Point music retailer Sound Garden are combining forces, with the former planning to take over the latter’s vinyl room to open a café with food, coffee drinks, beer and wine.
Baby’s on Fire owner David Koslowski and Shirlé Hale-Koslowski have applied for a seven-day Class D liquor license to serve beer and wine, with live entertainment and outside seating, at 1616 Thames St., home to Sound Garden for 24 of its 26 years in Fells Point. The flagship Morton Street café and record store will stay put while the second Baby’s on Fire outpost opens in a room at Sound Garden that currently houses stacks of vinyl records.
It was Sound Garden owner Bryan Burkert who approached the Koslowskis about adding a café into his spot, which he told Baltimore Fishbowl can “give the store a better vibe” while also boosting foot traffic.
“We have some additional space, really like their café and thought this was an excellent addition,” he said in an email. And, he said, they’ll be able to offer more for the historic waterfront neighborhood by working together: “Record stores are part of the community, as are amazing neighborhood coffee shops.”
With the liquor license, Burkert said he envisions it’ll be “more like a traditional San Francisco coffee shop with evening entertainment.”
The Koslowskis confirmed they’ll be bringing their café concept to Sound Garden, with plans to host acoustic shows and music trivia nights and potentially offer some outdoor seating. They’re applying to transfer a liquor license from Verde Pizza in Canton. A Baltimore City Liquor Board staffer said the restaurant already has a Class B restaurant license and is selling a Class D one.
“We’re super excited to bring what we have to the neighborhood of Fells Point, especially,” Hale-Koslowski said. She teased to be on the lookout for “more major news to come out” about their plans in Fells Point; a bigger announcement is planned, she said.
Burkert said the new Baby’s on Fire will serve the same fare that the flagship one does—coffee, breakfast items, pastries, sandwiches, salads and weekly mac and cheese variations are all on the menu—but won’t be selling any records.
To make way for the new café, he’ll be shuffling Sound Garden’s layout by moving the vinyl stock to racks along the left-hand side of the main room, with CD and DVD racks positioned to the right and the merch section toward the front door.
Hale-Koslowski said they’re eyeing mid-April to start construction inside the new space–after Record Store Day (April 13), she noted.
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