Spro Coffee is now open in Hampden, as of Friday (March 19). I stopped by today to check it out and talked to owner Jay Caragay, who also operates the coffee bar at the county library in Towson.
It’s a small, charming, unadorned storefront with no Wi-Fi, no music, and no art, and that’s just the way Jay wants it. "I want people to focus on the coffee and concentrate on their friends," he says.
This isn’t your ordinary coffee bar. There are several different brew methods as well as coffees. There’s even a coffee roaster on staff. But it’s not intimidating. The baristas are friendly and helpful.
I asked Jay about his proximity to Common Ground, Hampden’s other coffee spot on The Avenue, just doors from his location. He says there’s room for both. "People will see a different approach," he says. "It’s not better or worse. It’s just different."
Spro doesn’t have a sign yet, so look for the gray-striped awning and address, 851 W. 36th St.—or maybe there won’t be a sign. "I want to remain as low-key as possible," Jay says.
When you do find the place, you don’t want to just savor the coffee. Tempting treats from Puffs & Pastries are available as well as a delicious-looking red-velvet cake made by Jay’s mom Marieta Caragay. It won a blue ribbon at the Maryland State Fair, I’m told.
And lifestyle editor Janelle, who writes our Talk Shop blog, is happy to see Mexican Coke on the menu, which her husband loves, she says.
The shop is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Phone is 410-243-1262.