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Coffee shop to open in mid-July

June 05, 2004|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN

Jake Baer knows what a sweet spot he got when he bought the former Saum's Jewelers store on Public Square. He wants everyone else to enjoy the location, too.

A furrier had inquired about the storefront, but Baer wanted something accessible to more people, so he chose local resident Clifford Lane's plan for a coffee shop.

Coffee is one of those items that can draw a lot of people in, said Baer, an architect from Alexandria, Va., who has relatives in Hagerstown.

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The Square Cup Cafe, which the pair expect to open by mid-July, will allow customers into the seldom seen second floor, they said.

"It's a beautiful perch to look at the square," Baer said.

The cafe will start off selling 15 varieties of coffee roasted on site, Lane said. The cafe also will offer baked goods, tea and coffee drinks such as cappuccinos, Frappuccinos and lattes, Lane said.

The roasted coffee beans will be fresh. Anything older than seven days, which is how long coffee's peak freshness lasts, will be given to groups such as firefighters and police, Lane said.

The cafe will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Lane said. The hours might extend to Saturday and Sunday morning.

The shop is being renovated to have a wooden interior with a 1960s-style counter, Lane said. Since the shop is small, there will be small tables that sit two or three people.

The upstairs could host events such as meetings or poetry readings, the partners said.

Lane, who moved to the Hagerstown area in April 2001, was walking around town and thought the area needed a coffee shop.

The upcoming opening of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown in January was a big incentive for opening the shop downtown, Lane said.

The shop at 2 W. Washington St. was home to Saum's Jewelers for approximately 16 years until the more than 100-year-old business closed in 1998 and reopened under the name The Jeweler's Daughter. Baer bought the building on Sept. 30 last year.

Despite the name of the cafe, the cups will not be square, Lane said.

"People have a tendency to spill a lot when they drink out of a square cup," he said.

The name is simply a reference to the shop's location.

"I think it's ideal. It's a little small, but I think it's one of the premiere spots of the town, on the square," Lane said.

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