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Dealing with COVID-19 in Downtown Brunswick: Beans in the Belfry

Brunswick Main Street will be bringing you weekly blog posts featuring a different downtown business.  Each business will share how they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.  Statistics from Main Street America say that over 35% of Main Street businesses will have to permanently close if this crisis continues for 3-5 months. We know you love downtown, so let’s rally to support our downtown businesses throughout this crisis!

Our first blog post will feature a beloved downtown business which has become a true anchor for our downtown area: Beans in the Belfry.

Located in the historic 1910 church on W Potomac Street, Beans in the Belfry brings in people from all walks of life to participate in their many events and enjoy the variety of food they serve. Open seven days a week, they are known for having live music, an afternoon tea service, for the quality customer experience provided, , and for popular foods like their Turkey Panini and Bombay Chicken Salad. The eclectic atmosphere reminds guests of home with comfy couches, a children’s corner, board games, and even free wi-fi for folks to use.

The owners of Beans in the Belfry, Melanie DiPasquale and her parents Jim and Hanna Politis, love the opportunity to know, serve, and work with the people in the community. Hanna says that “Melanie’s vision was and still is to enhance downtown Brunswick with a place where people and families with kids can get together, drink coffee, socialize, get to know each other.  Since she is a fan of historic preservation, she picked the boarded-up church on 122 West Potomac Street to be that place.  Always 100% committed, she and family members bought that church in 2003 and after 14 months of hard work and considerable investment she turned it into an eclectic, comfortable and inviting Third Place for locals to hang out, and it soon became a destination for people in the tri-state area to visit and enjoy coffee, food, and since 2012 also beer and wine.  A coffee house is not complete without live music and right from the beginning we were approached by musicians to perform. It became a win-win situation where all weekend long our stage resounds with performers of Irish, Celtic and roots music, blues, old time, bluegrass, and amazing jazz groups.”

Hanna continued to say “Our products and services evolved by listening to our customers.  So, we soon added paninis, soups, chili, salads, cakes and other baked goods to our coffee, espresso and tea service.  We want ingredients to be high quality and insist on freshness. Therefore, as much as possible we choose locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.  As our food service increased, so did our opportunity to hire local staff, and we pride ourselves to have filled positions with baristas whom we trained while they were still attending or had just graduated from the local high school, as well as staff from the local community with experience in food service. “

Hanna describes the impact of COVID-19, “With COVID-19, of course, the unthinkable happened when the Governor of Maryland imposed restrictions on table service in restaurants.  Since March 17 we have adapted to offering curbside service and had to reduce our staff to fewer hours.  It’s been a blow to us since our strength lies in the experience of our eclectic ambiance in the room.  We are using the down time for repair and maintenance of the century old building. We are ever so grateful to friends and supporters who place coffee and food orders and get gift cards to pay it forward.  We look forward to having the restrictions lifted and resuming normal service.  We really miss seeing the many friendly faces and engaging with people who make our running our business so rewarding.”

Beans in the Belfry DoorBeans in the Belfry has been serving our community for 16 years. Established in 2004, this family-owned business strives to bring good quality food to all those who walk through their doors. Each family member brings their strengths and prior knowledge to the business while at the same time they are each constantly learning new skills so that they can serve others to the best of their ability. Everyone at Beans in the Belfry wants you to know that they are here to serve the community alongside the other businesses located in our beloved downtown Brunswick. All establishments are counting on the support of the community at this time of need.

They are open 363 days of the year. Currently the hours are: Sunday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Support Beans in the Belfry by giving them a call at 301.834.7178 and placing an order TODAY! You can also leave them a review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, or Facebook. Beans in the Belfry can also be found on several social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. The eclectic yet warm atmosphere in this historic building is welcoming and allows others to feel at home without having to be at home. Can’t wait until we can all gather there again for a great cup of coffee!

With mention of Brunswick Main Street, get a free coffee with your meal at Beans in the Belfry!