DUNDALK — There’s a new spot for warm drinks and cool conversation, and it’s got a beautiful backstory — the kind you can’t miss in the energy of the place.
Joanna’s Cafe opened their doors on July 27, but recently hosted their grand opening on August 3. The food and drink spot is expertly decorated and radiates positivity and community. It’s located in Merritt Station, at 1420 Merritt Boulevard.
“We wanted a chance to work out some kinks, some menu items and other quirks that come with opening a brand new business,” cafe owner Lindsay Banfill said.
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Banfill has always been in the restaurant industry, running another cafe before opening her own.
Banfill’s name was not Joanna, but her cafe bears the moniker.
The namesake of her new local haunt was Banfill’s older sister. Joanna died in a car accident 15 years ago.
“She had two daughters who were raised by my other sister Laura,” Banfill said. “I’ve always wanted to have my own cafe and thought it would be fitting to honor her this way. Her picture is hanging in the cafe.”
Joanna’s Cafe features hot coffee roasted nearby in Crofton at the Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company.
“We have all types of espresso based coffee drinks like hot or iced lattes with different flavors, frozen mocha, caramel, white chocolate, chai tea, freshly brewed iced tea, bagels, pastries, muffins and cookies,” Banfill said breathlessly. She’s enthusiastic about finally having her own place in Dundalk.
“We will also serve avocado toast, parfaits, bagel and lox and eventually mini waffles with fruit, as well as breakfast sandwiches. I’m still playing around with some menu items. For lunch we feature hot and cold sandwiches and salads. Besides the bakery items, for dessert we offer root beer floats and Affagato and ice cream sundaes, with or without a brownie.”
The cafe is available for venue rentals, too — Banfill thinks it will be a perfect spot for birthday parties and bridal showers, as well as business mixers.
“Menus can be made specifically for your event,” she said.
According to Banfill, she wanted to open Joanna’s Cafe within her community.
“Dundalk doesn’t have anything like this, and I thought it would be a good place for the community to hang out and get great food and coffee drinks and spend time together,” Banfill said.
Although Joanna’s Cafe is Banfill’s first location, she would like to open a few more restaurants.
“We are excited to be a part of this community,” she said. “We are a company that values family, integrity and building relationships within our community. We are here for you. To give you a calm and inviting space to have meetings, luncheons, get togethers or just coffee.”