Food & Drink

Catalog Coffee Makes a Shiny Debut on The Avenue in Hampden

Take a look around the bright new cafe and coffee bar from chef Dave Sherman.

They say a smile is the universal welcome, and a new coffee shop and cafe in Hampden is putting that to the test.

A bright yellow blade sign—one of the only flag mount-style signs on the block—depicting a smiling sun greets customers at Catalog Coffee, which opened its doors at 914 W. 36th St. (adjacent to another newcomer, The Urban Oyster) on Thursday, March 7. Current hours are 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, and Friday; and 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Catalog Coffee's exterior and bright yellow blade sign.

The concept comes from chef Dave Sherman, who previously operated Ground & Griddled at R. House and Cafe Cito just around the corner on Chestnut Avenue. He chose the name partly as a nod to those now-closed eateries.

“A catalog is a list of items from history,” Sherman says. “As I was trying to come up with a name that fit with what we were doing, who we are, and what we want to be, ‘catalog’ kept popping up again.” 

That means fans of Sherman’s past establishments might recognize some Catalog menu items, including the Breakfast Banh Mi and the Cito Bird chicken sandwich, originally on the menu at Cafe Cito. Catalog will serve other breakfast and lunch sammies, as well as salads and a vegan protein option that Sherman created. “It’s like a smash chickpea and scallion salad—I’m really excited for it,” he says.

On the beverage side, Sherman tapped David Anderson and Laura Banner to lead the coffee and tea program. (Anderson is also the general manager.) Patrons have a prime view of the counter to watch them work, whether it’s on a matcha latte, an espresso tonic, or tea served in a pretty Loveramics cup.

The signature Loveramics mugs.

Visitors shouldn’t overlook the design of the space. Sherman teamed up with Eastwing Architects and lauded local designer Tiffanni Reidy of Reidy Creative to thoughtfully incorporate different small “zones” of seating, including a triangle-shaped community table near the front.

“I wanted to have a community table, but I hate the ones that interfere with the flow of traffic,” Sherman says. “So we created this specifically shaped table for flow to be able to go around it.”

There’s also a bench that connects to the roll-up garage door at the front of the space for warm-weather days, a nook with a shelf (perfect for those who prefer to stand or are waiting for their food), and two-seater tabletops near the back that overlook a custom-made toile wallpaper.

Local artist Kate Haberer sketched Baltimore-related scenes from places like Camden Yards, the Inner Harbor, and the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, then Sherman’s brother—who owns Brooklyn, New York-based Flavor Paper—turned it into a wallpaper.

—Courtesy of Dave Sherman
—Courtesy of Dave Sherman
Above: the triangle-shaped communal table, custom wallpaper, bench seating near the garage-style door, and two-top tables.

Another focal point? An LED neon sign of the sunny logo, which hangs on the wall by the community table. Sherman says it was created for a very specific purpose.

“There’s so much foot traffic when we’re not going to be open, so I wanted something that makes people feel how much energy is inside the space, even though they’re not in there.”

For Sherman, who closed Ground & Griddled inside R. House back in 2021, Catalog’s opening couldn’t have come soon enough. 

“We’re just really excited to bring this beautiful cafe to life,” he says, “and to give it life, because it’s been a journey building it. I just can’t wait to fill it with local people. We’ve had so much interest. On [Presidents Day], there must have been 50 people that came to the door. We have great local support in Hampden and surrounding areas. We’re just really excited to get back to serving Baltimore.”