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Ocean City

Coffee Beanery brings coffee shop setting to resort

The Coffee Beanery on 94th Street makes its muffins in house and has a rotating menu of baked goods and other desserts. (Clara Vaughn)

(Sept. 27, 2013) If you’re seeking your next caffeine fix, informal meeting spot or peaceful place to write, search no further than the Coffee Beanery on 94th Street.

The café opened July 18, bringing Ocean City customers the coffee shop atmosphere with a twist: The Coffee Beanery has a drive-thru window. Customers can get their cup of joe to go, or stay for an afternoon of writing.

“From day one, whether it’s tourists or locals, people have found out we’re here and have turned us into their ‘office away from home,’” Coffee Beanery co-operating partner Dana Gottloeb said.

The first Coffee Beanery opened in 1976 in Michigan. The Ocean City chain features the same “core coffee menu” as other Coffee Beaneries, but the surprise since the café opened has been the popularity of its breakfast sandwiches, Gottloeb said.

“Breakfast is back,” he said between pulling trays of homemade muffins from the oven. Coffee house classics offered at the Coffee Beanery include scones and an array of biscotti, among other dishes on a rotating menu. Right now, the pumpkin coffee is its best seller, and the café offers other fall picks like caramel apple coffee, Gottloeb said.

The Coffee Beanery sells breakfast sandwiches such as a smoked bacon and egg or three-cheese bagel all day, but also features lunch options. Around 5 p.m., new desserts such as tiramisu and cake roll out, Gottloeb said.

The brains behind the Coffee Beanery starting talking about an Ocean City location in February or March, he said. When the former Susquehanna Bank building on 94th Street, which was recently home to the Art League of Ocean City, became available, the business took it over, revamping the space in about two months.

“This was doable in a fairly quick period,” compared to some larger locations the business considered, Gottloeb said. And the drive-thru window of the bank was an easy conversion for the beanery’s to-go option.

The café’s July 18 opening was “insanely busy,” Gottloeb said. Though the chain has shops in Berlin and Salisbury, most of the workers were foreign students, leaving them without transportation to get there for training.

“From the time we actually had everything in place to the time we opened, we only had three days,” Gottloeb said. Even with the short training, though, “a great portion of them (the baristas) just picked it up and ran with it.” He said he gets compliments on their service daily.

The Coffee Beanery is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Those hours will likely be shortened to 7 p.m. or earlier as the winter wears on.

Gottloeb hopes to host open mic nights at the Coffee Beanery and welcomes local performers to contact him. Likewise, he invites book groups and other organizations to call the Coffee Beanery at 410-524-4400 if they’re looking for a meeting space.

The Coffee Beanery is on 94th Street bayside, just off of Coastal Highway. Visit www.coffeebeanery.com and click ‘store menu’ to see the café’s menu.

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