New bookstore-cafe from Spike Gjerde, Ivy Bookshop owners to open Nov. 7 in Charles Village

Bird in Hand, the bookstore-cafe by Spike Gjerde and the Ivy Bookstore owners, opens to the public next week.

Bird in Hand, the bookstore-cafe collaboration from Spike Gjerde and Ivy Bookstore owners Ann and Ed Berlin, will open to the public Nov. 7.

The cafe is located at 11 E. 33rd St. in the Nine East 33rd building, the new student housing development at St. Paul and 33rd streets. 

The Bird in Hand is situated near the Johns Hopkins University campus, but the space will look to cater to the broader neighborhoods of Charles Village, Guilford and Homewood, its owners said.

"It is probably the largest concentration of writers, poets and educators in the city of Baltimore, so we’re not framing this as a purely Hopkins experience," Ed Berlin said. "There's a need for a coffeehouse and there’s a need for an additional bookstore. ... This gives people in the area choice."

David Speegle, who oversees the kitchens at Artifact Coffee and Grand Cru, will also head the kitchen at Bird in Hand. Lauren Pavin is the general manager. And Corey Polyoka, director of operations for Gjerde's Woodberry Kitchen restaurant group, led the design and development of the space.

The menu will be similar to Artifact's, but because the kitchen space is limited at Bird in Hand, Gjerde said the menu will offer a smaller selection — "kind of the greatest hits of Artifact." That includes pastries, sandwiches, French bread pizzas and other baked goods, as well as cereals. 

The coffee bar, on the other hand, will offer more drink options than Artifact, with coffee from Counter Culture, herbal tea infusions and local juices.

"We want to have fun with it," Gjerde said. "We want to do something that definitely jives with the place and the people that are there."

The books at Bird in Hand will also reflect a scaled-back version of the Ivy Bookshop's vast selection. While the Ivy Bookshop on Falls Road carries 26,000 titles, Bird in Hand will start off with 2,500.

"It’s going to get pretty close to the range of literature that we have at the other store," Ed Berlin said.

And the shop will have a book "curator" on-site from at least 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to assist customers.

Bird in Hand will serve as the Ivy's primary event space for book signings and discussions with authors. The first event in the new space, set for Nov. 10, will feature author Andres Neuman. And a Nov. 16 event will welcome Ellen Lupton, director of the Maryland Institute College of Art's Master of Fine Arts program in graphic design.

The space seats 40 for dining and has room for as many as 60 guests for events. 

Bird in Hand will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, with special events typically held from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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