Good news for Baltimoreans who miss the Spanish-inspired sandwiches from Cafe Cito.
Dave Sherman, the founder of the beloved Chestnut Avenue cafe that closed in 2017, has plans to return to the Hampden neighborhood with a new coffee shop and eatery. The signs are already up for Catalog Coffee, which Sherman is aiming to open this summer on the Avenue at 916 W. 36th Street.
He chose to name the coffee shop “Catalog” as a nod to his prior projects, which also include the Spanish-and-Japanese restaurant Nasu Blanca in Riverside and the Ground & Griddled stall at R. House, which closed late last year.
“The reason it’s called Catalog Coffee is because a catalog is a list of items from history,” Sherman said. “So I’m going to be featuring some of Baltimore folks’ favorite dishes that I’ve done in the past, and some new stuff.”
Look for the Spanish Bird, a Cafe Cito sammie that combines chicken, roasted red peppers, arugula and lemon aioli between thick slices of ciabatta bread, on the menu when Catalog Coffee opens. Sherman said he’s also planning to bring back a banh mi sandwich as well as some favorite drinks from Ground & Griddled, including matcha tea and a “Honey Bunches” latte that blends espresso with steamed oat milk and cinnamon syrup.
The cafe will also feature an expanded tea program from general manager and beverage director David Anderson, as well as housemade cold brew, nitrogen tea on tap and coffee shots, featuring filter-strength coffee made quickly in the espresso machine. Sherman plans to source coffee beans from Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Passenger Coffee.
Catalog Coffee will have some vegetarian and lighter options, as well, like salads, turkey sausage, a mushroom cheesesteak and an egg-white breakfast sandwich called La Blanca. The 30-seat cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch five days a week, Thursdays through Mondays, and will feature a roll-up garage door to open the dining room to the street when the weather is pleasant.
Sherman joins a block of 36th Street that is rapidly adding new dining options. Kandahar Afghan Kitchen, a restaurant from a former head chef at The Helmand, recently opened next door. And Jasmine Norton has plans to bring her seafood concept, The Urban Oyster, to the block as well.
Though Hampden is a magnet for foodies, Sherman said the neighborhood is light on breakfast and lunch options. He wants Catalog Coffee to fill the gap.
“We just felt there was a real need for a gathering space during the daytime,” he said.
Plus, he was eager to get back to the community that was supportive of his cooking in the past.
“I’m just looking forward to serving it up again in Hampden,” Sherman said. “It’s been too long.”