Red Springs Cafe headed for Hollywood Diner?
Cheryl Townsend, who operated the Southern-style Red Springs Cafe on Calvert Street until earlier this year, may be headed for the Hollywood Diner on Saratoga Street. Townsend said that the deal with the City of Baltimore, which owns the building, isn't final, but that if things go according to plan, she could have the diner reopened shortly after the beginning of the new year.
The diner had been run by Crema Cafe Co. since September 2009. Crema's owner, Terry Jett, shut his operations down on Saratoga Street on November 24th. In a conversation with me, Jett was frank about the rough time he's had of it on Saratoga Street. "It was tough," Jett says, "It's been a really hard year." Jett admitted that the home-made pancake batter, mayonnaise, sausages and chorizo; Zeke's Coffee; and Stone Mill Bakery bread may not have appealed to a value-seeking lunch audience.
As for the late-night crowd, Jett did try keeping the diner open until 2 a.m. (several nightclubs are nearby, not to mention the Block), but says he ended up spending more for security than he made in sales.
Jett wasn't blaming anybody, really, and he said he may have stayed with the diner longer than he otherwise would have because of the diner's ongoing partnership with the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, which uses the diner for a job-training program.
Crema Coffee still operates two Baltimore area coffee shops for the University of Maryland, one at the medical school and one at the law school.
I'll keep you posted.