Park Cafe and Coffee Bar has opened in Bolton Hill. The first day for the new cafe was Tuesday, said David Hart, who co-owns the new cafe with his husband, Joseph Costa, a physician at Mercy Hospital.

"It's surreal to see something in your head for a year and a half and then have it become reality," said Hart, a Bolton Hill resident.

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Park Cafe is offering a small selection of cafe food like soups and sandwiches. Park Cafe is the first venture into the restaurant business for both of them. "For now, we want to keep the food simple, small and high quality," said Hart, who listed Ina Garten, Sarah Foster and "The Silver Palate Cookbook" as his culinary influences.

Breakfast offerings at Park Cafe include baked egg sandwiches with tomato jam, steel-cut oatmeal and assorted pastries from Uptown Bakery. Lunch options are things like croque monsieur, panini with imported meats and cheeses and roasted potato and lentil salad with seasonal vegetables. Cookies, brownies and rosemary shortbread apricot bars are being baked in house.

Hart said his focus at Park Cafe, at least early on, is on "good, good coffee." Park Cafe is using coffee roasted by Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters. The milk for the lattes and cappuccinos is from Trickling Springs Creamery of Chambersburg, Pa.

Hart said the inspiration for the Park Cafe came on an extended European trip that he and Costa took a few years ago. "Instead of buying Porsches, we went to Italy," Hart said. "We really enjoyed cafe life there," Hart said. A cup of espresso at Park Cafe will be served the Italian way,  Hart said, with a glass of water, and a small cookie or biscuit.

The owners hired SM&P Architects (Woodberry Kitchen, The Food Market, Verde) to renovate the interior of the boxy commercial property, a renovated 800 square-foot carriage house on the corner of McMechen and Brevard streets.

Park Cafe & Coffee Bar is at 132 McMechen St. For information call 410-225-9282 or go to parkcafecoffeebar.com.

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