Still via YouTube/Dovecote Café

The co-owners of Dovecote Café are ready to make their baby their own.

The trio behind the community-centric Reservoir Hill café has launched a fundraiser to buy their Madison Avenue space from their landlord. The campaign seeks to raise $30,000 for a down payment on the property, which the owners have agreed to sell if the Dovecote team can come up with the cash.

“Our family started with a vision. What if we could create a space where community would collide—feeding the neighborhood around it [?]” the fundraiser description says. “One that didn’t drive gentrification but instead inspired people in the neighborhood to see their neighborhood through new eyes. To be inspired….Now we have a chance to give our little piece of magic a permanent home.”

Aisha Pew, her partner, B. Cole, and her mother, Gilda, opened the restaurant in late 2015 with the motto, “Community first, cafe second.” According to the restaurant’s website, Aisha left behind a successful career in corporate retail, Gilda took on a second act as a chef after two decades as a social worker and Cole jumped at a chance to pursue a new venture rooted in community development. The trio uprooted from the West Coast to bring their dream to life in Baltimore.

The café, located in a first-floor space on Madison Avenue, has since garnered rave reviews for offering great food, selling local wares and artwork, hosting monthly “Chef Takeover” featuring guest cooks, giving away fresh produce and otherwise providing a hub for people of all creeds, races, economic strata and gender IDs.

“Our community is basically the neighborhood and community and all of these amazing young entrepreneurs and innovators who’ve embraced us while we’ve been in the city,” Cole told City Paper last fall.

This promo created for the fundraiser captures the warm vibe:

YouTube video

A year and a half out, they want to build on that dream by being in control of their space. In addition to owning their own restaurant, buying the property would let the team build a patio in the side yard for events and give them five apartments to rent out at affordable rates, per the fundraiser page.

They now have 30 days to raise 30 grand. Backers can enjoy perks ranging from a shout out on social media ($20) to a long-term reserved VIP brunch table ($5,000) or the option to enjoy all other perks plus host a party there ($10,000).

Click here to learn more or help the cause.

Dovecote Café is located at 2501 Madison Avenue in the historic Reservoir Hill neighborhood. Hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...