Spork Cafe to open in down­town Elk­ton

Cecil Whig - - BUSINESS - C HERYL MA TTIX

While I was out and about ... A new store is com­ing to down­town Elk­ton in May and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Elk­ton Al­liance and Cham­ber Mary Jo Jablon­ski is very ex­cited.

Ce­cil County na­tive Brielle Smart and Ja­son Cur­tis, who is from Coatesville, Pa., are part­ners in Spork Cafe, Bak­ery & Mar­ket.

The shop, which is go­ing to fea­ture a menu of sea­sonal dishes, us­ing as much lo­cal pro­duce as pos­si­ble, will also have a rus­tic, coun­try dé­cor.

Spork Cafe, Bak­ery & Mar­ket will be lo­cated at 102 W. Main St., a space that was once home to MacMil­lan’s Sports, but has been va­cant for sev­eral years.

“It’s so great to have a young cou­ple in­vest in Main Street,” Jablon­ski said. “It will be some­thing to look for­ward to.”

The shop will be open from 6:30 a.m. un­til 6:30 p.m. Mon­day through Fri­day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Satur­day and closed Sun­day.

The menu, which is still a work in progress, will in­clude break­fast, lunch and din­ner items; as well as soups, sal­ads, sides, bev­er­ages and fresh bak­ery items.

While this marks the first busi­ness ven­ture for the cou­ple, they both have ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in the restau­rant busi­ness and met while work­ing at a restau­rant in Ken­nett Square, Pa.

Smart is a pas­try chef who has four years ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in Philadel­phia, Bal­ti­more and Colorado at fine din­ing and farm-totable eater­ies.

“I’m Ital­ian so I love bak­ing,” she said.

Her bak­ery items will be baked fresh daily and vary, in­clud­ing items such as cin­na­mon rolls, sticky buns, scones, muffins, bis­cuits, cof­fee cake, mac­a­roons, pies, cakes, tarts, pret­zels, cook­ies, can­no­lis, cheese­cake, crisps, Ja­son Cur­tis and Brielle Smart re­veal their logo for a new busi­ness they are open­ing down­town Elk­ton.

bread pudding, brown­ies and breads.

“I also plan to of­fer home­made ice cream,” she said.

Cur­tis, who is an ex­ec­u­tive chef with 12 years ex­pe­ri­ence in West Ch­ester, Philadel­phia and Ken­nett Square, will be in charge of the rest of the menu with dishes like crab mac ‘n’ cheese grilled cheese, crab pret­zel, roasted vegetable let­tuce wrap and straw­berry salad.

The 1,800-square-foot area will in­clude a pas­try kitchen at the rear and an open kitchen in the front be­hind a long counter for cus­tomers to pick up or­ders they’ve called in. But there will be sev­eral high-top ta­bles with seat­ing and a cou­ple of big pic­nic ta­bles for larger groups who want to eat-in.

The cou­ple will of­fer a mar­ket

area in the store to sell home­made items, such as rhubarb pre­serves, pick­les, jam, bis­cotti, baguettes, choco­late bark and spe­cialty breads.

“We’re go­ing to add a cou­ple of benches out­side,” Smart said. “Cus­tomers can sit there and eat ice cream or wait.”

They are tar­get­ing an open­ing date for mid- to late May, but that will de­pend on ren­o­va­tions and in­spec­tions from the town and the health de­part­ment.

So keep your eye on their progress and watch for their open­ing an­nounce­ment.

*** South of the Ch­e­sa­peake and Delaware Canal, work has been mov­ing along on a plan to open a Dol­lar Gen­eral just out­side of Ch­e­sa­peake City town lim­its.

While there were plans to build a Dol­lar Gen­eral at the for­mer Jack & Helen’s restau­rant off Route 213, they were ul­ti­mately de­nied a re­zon­ing by the county in June 2013. The new plan will see the store de­vel­oped at the for­mer Ch­e­sa­peake Wine & Spir­its lo­ca­tion just to the north, which is prop­erly zoned.

While in county lim­its, the de­vel­oper has had to con­tend with Ch­e­sa­peake City mu­nic­i­pal de­sign re­stric­tions be­cause it has re­quested wa­ter and sewer ser­vice from the town. At its April 4 meet­ing, the town coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved a plan to ex­tend ser­vice to the planned store.

“There is a huge ex­pense to do the in­fra­struc­ture un­der the high­way,” Mayor Dean Geraci­mos re­cently told the Whig, not­ing that the town’s spe­cial ser­vice dis­trict law al­lows it to com­pel newly served de­vel­op­ments to fund wa­ter and sewer ser­vice ex­ten­sion to their neigh­bor­ing lots. “This is a project in ex­cess of $100,000 that the de­vel­oper is pay­ing for.”

In a spe­cial ser­vice dis­trict, a con­trac­tor is then re­im­bursed $5,000 from each of those neigh­bor­ing lot own­ers who choose to con­nect to the pub­lic util­i­ties.

*** It’s that time of year again for the Fair Hill Point-to-Point races and fes­tiv­i­ties at the race­track at Route 273 and Route 213.

The event is sched­uled for Sun­day, with gates open from 10 a.m. un­til 4:30 p.m.

Brooke Boyer, di­rec­tor of rac­ing, says this is the fifth year for the event, which draws a big­ger crowd each year. Pro­ceeds from the Point-to-Point ben­e­fit Fair Hill Na­ture Cen­ter, which op­er­ates as a non­profit ed­u­ca­tional cen­ter on the Fair Hill prop­erty.

This year’s race fea­tures 12 races, in­clud­ing flat races and tim­ber jumps. Tick­ets are $10 for adults and $5 for chil­dren. Mil­i­tary are free.

While rac­ing are go­ing on through­out the day, those at­tend­ing will be able to en­joy a va­ri­ety of food ven­dors, visit a clas­sic car dis­play, bid on silent auction items and lis­ten to live music.

WJBR is do­ing a live ra­dio broad­cast from the races. For more in­for­ma­tion, call Fair Hill Na­ture Cen­ter of­fice at 410-398-4909.

If you have any tid­bits to share with Ch­eryl Mat­tix for this col­umn, con­tact her at cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig. com, or call her at 443-907-8440.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO COUR­TESY OF ELK­TON CHAM­BER

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

The for­mer Ch­e­sa­peake Wine and Spir­its store will be the site of a fu­ture Dol­lar Gen­eral af­ter the Ch­e­sa­peake City town coun­cil re­cently ap­proved a util­ity ser­vice plan.

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