A new cafe will open Friday in the Chestnut Avenue space in Hampden that was formerly home to Roland Park Cafe and Deli.
When it opens, Cafe Cito will keep daytime hours only, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but will eventually add dinner service, according to the cafe's chef and owner, David Sherman.
You may remember Sherman from Nasu Blanca, his ambitious restaurant in the Riverside neighborhood that served an intriguing mix of Japanese and Spanish food.
Sherman said that Cafe Cito won't be like Nasu Blanca, which closed after only two years.
"I don’t have an ego anymore," Sherman said. "I have a nice small cafe that’s more manageable. This is more my style. I love the culinary scene in Baltimore, especially in Hampden."
Cafe Cito will serve a menu of salads, sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese along with prepared dishes like spring vegetable paella.
Sherman said that the name, Cafe Cito, roughly means "little cafe," but that "cafecito," when said as one word is the name of a coffee drink popular in Cuban communities.
"We try to do a few things especially well," Sherman said. "We're a little cafe that's very serious about its coffee."
Cafe Cito will be preparing beans from the Portland, Ore.-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters with a variety of coffee-making methods -- pour-over, Chemex, and French press and, Sherman said, "an amazing cold brew."
Sherman said the 30-seat cafe, which will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, will offer table service.
"We want to cater to everybody. Businessmen in suits can come in and have a nice lunch. But you'll feel comfortable wearing shorts and an Orioles cap," said Sherman, who admitted that he falls into the latter category. "I don’t like to dress up but I like to eat out in nice places."
Cafe Cito is at 3500 Chestnut Ave. For information call 443-682-9701 or visit the cafe's Facebook page, facebook.com/cafecitobmore.