GAITHERSBURG – Foodies in Montgomery County have a new place to call home.
The owners of the Barking Mad Café, which opened for business earlier this year in Watkins Mill, aim to provide guests with an upscale casual dining experience.
The Barking Mad Café is a separate project for Pete and Leigh Henry, whose company, BP Realty, is developing apartment buildings and other amenities for Watkins Mill Town Center.
“My husband and I developed a concept based on what we felt the trade area needed and wanted,” said Leigh, who describes herself as the “Chief Inspiration Officer” for the Café. “We hope the Café will be the heart of the new community when it’s finished.”
The Café consists of a coffee and pastry bar, as well as a dining room and patio with table service.
Its menu offers breakfast dishes, as well as salads, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner.
“We’re committed to offering fresh food and high-end coffee and pastries,” Leigh said.
The Café employs an on-site pastry chef and serves Counter Culture coffee, an elite provider which serves coffee sourced from farmers and cooperatives.
Additionally, a greenhouse on the grounds will be used to grow vegetables and other ingredients. The Café hosts live music on the patio on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
“What I love about working here is that the owners focus on the ‘why,’ ‘why are we here?’” said Jean Marie Diehl, who works as a general manager of the Café with her husband Thomas.
“We moved up here from Florida within two weeks of taking the job because the pitch they gave really resonated with us. They want to create a small city in this area, and bring the foodie culture into northern Gaithersburg, and we’re really excited to be a part of that.”
“This is my first taste of Maryland,” said Becca Minatra, who recently moved to Gaithersburg from North Dakota and visited the Cafe for the first time on Monday. “I like the atmosphere, the staff is friendly, and the coffee is great, so I’ll probably be back.
Leigh said the construction of the long-planned Interstate 270 interchange at Watkins Mill Road was crucial to her company’s projects and the economic development and security of the entire area.
“It’s a very crucial transportation initiative,” Leigh said. “It connects people with work, residential and retail opportunities. What’s more, the sixth district police station is slated to be there. I think a lot of people don’t remember because it’s been a while, but during 9/11 and the sniper attacks, the police thought it was vital to have that quick access to I-270.”
More information on the café may be found at www.barkingmadcafe.com.