Bolton Hill’s Park Café & Coffee Bar Reopens Under New Ownership

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Photo by Ed Gunts

Almost exactly a month after Park Café and Coffee Bar supposedly shut its doors for good, the Bolton Hill business reopened today under new ownership.

When former owner David Hart announced he’d be closing his coffee shop at 132 McMechen Street on July 7, he said he was looking for “an interested party to continue what we started.”

Former Park Café employee Elsa Valdes saw an opportunity. She and her brother, George Gonzalez, arranged to buy the store from Hart.

The sale was kept under wraps until this past Sunday, when the new owners updated the café’s Facebook page to say, “Park Cafe & Coffee Bar will reopen under new ownership. Stay tuned.”

Then, yesterday afternoon, Valdes and Gonzales made an impromptu reveal that they’d be reopening this morning at 7 a.m. They wrote that they planned to offer “the same great food and customer service” as the shop did when Hart was the owner.

Neither Valdes nor Gonzalez were immediately available to speak this afternoon. An employee who answered the phone at the café said both were preoccupied, noting it was a busy lunch hour – a good sign for a coffee bar that reopened merely hours before.

Even if you’ve never visited the modern-looking Bolton Hill coffee shop, you may have seen it in passing on the local news. Park Café and Coffee Bar infamously went cashless early this year after getting robbed five times in four months.

Hart told WBAL-TV last month he didn’t shut his business down simply because of the robberies. However, he did mention that he first considered closing after the fifth incident in January.

Replying to someone who commented on yesterday’s Facebook announcement to ask if the café would remain cashless, Hart wrote, “yes for the short term.”

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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