Dooby's to open The Hatch on new space in Mount Vernon

Dooby’s, the long-awaited Mount Vernon cafe, will be opening soon, says Phil Han, the Gilman alumnus whose childhood nickname is now plastered on the Park Plaza building. The site has been without a restaurant tenant since the early-morning fire in December 2010 that effectively closed the building.

Both My Thai and Indigma, which occupied the space where Dooby’s is going, have reopened elsewhere. The old Donna’s space is now an interior design firm.

Han said the cafe, which was originally scheduled for a spring opening, will now open around Labor Day. But Mount Vernon residents won’t have to wait that long for a sip of Dooby’s espresso or taste of its pastries and sandwiches.

On Saturday, Han will open a preview version of Dooby’s in the lower-level Park Plaza space that used to be an imported-rug store. Han is calling this space, which is entered on Madison Street, The Hatch. (The official opening for the Hatch is July 20.)

The Hatch will introduce Dooby’s coffee program and a sampling of the food that will be served in the cafe.

Think pastries like pancetta Gruyere scones, blueberry muffins with passion fruit glaze. and “toast & jam,” a duck-fat brioche with orange-blossom butter and berry jam; sourdough sandwiches with Cambodian chicken salad or tomato, mozzarella and pesto, and snacks like pho-spiced peanut brittle.

Once Dooby’s occupies its permanent home on the ground-level space, The Hatch will become an incubator space for outside entrepreneurs, kind of a permanent “pop-up space,” with a new concept rolling in every few months or so for a tryout.

The Hatch will open at 7 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. weekends. The entrance is at 4 W. Madison St. For information, call 410-702-5144 or go to



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