BERLIN – Coffee and chocolate. Two culinary favorites — and both on the menu at Berlin’s newest coffee shop.
On What Grounds, located on Main Street in downtown Berlin, offers customers an array of coffees, chocolates and baked goods in a classic, comfortable atmosphere. Dana Gottloeb, who opened the shop early this year with his wife, Denise, is thrilled with the way the community has embraced the new business.
“It’s been spectacular,” he said. “It’s been much better than I expected.”
Gottloeb, familiar to many after years of operating a coffee shop in the Centre at Salisbury, says when he decided to close up there he already had thoughts of setting up a new store in Berlin. He thought a new shop would enable he and his wife, whose passion is chocolate, to combine their areas of expertise.
When Gottloeb learned the small space adjacent to the Maryland Wine Bar was available, he took it.
“Everything fell right into place,” he said.
On What Grounds offers customers everything typical coffee houses do in addition to some big-city options not too common on the Eastern Shore. There’s aeropress coffee brewed by the cup and pour-over coffee, made by pouring water over and through the coffee grounds.
“Everybody that’s had it will tell you it makes a better cup than a drip,” Gottloeb said.
He’s also proud to serve coffee from Intelligentcia, a coffee roaster based in Chicago.
“Every coffee I try of theirs is just incredible,” Gottloeb said, adding that not many shops in the area serve it. “It’s nice when people come in and recognize it.”
While many of Gottloeb’s customers are tourists, plenty are local. What he enjoys about his interactions with them is the way that he can almost always find a connection to them.
“You know six degrees of separation?” he said. “In Berlin it’s more like two degrees of separation. In some way or another, we seem to know everybody.”
That, he says, makes working behind the counter at On What Grounds a pleasure.
“It’s a lot of fun every day,” he said.
On What Grounds is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 410-629-1022.