West 54 Café helps Fenwick area wake up

Route 54 serves as a high-traffic corridor for locals and visitors throughout the year, and now a new café and coffee shop is taking advantage of that fact. West 54 Café and Espresso Bar, which opened in early July, sits alongside the Shark’s Cove Marina and Catch 54, and has become one of the area’s new hotspots for breakfast, lunch, early dinner or for a place to socialize.

Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton: West 54 Café and Espresso Bar on Route 54 opened this past July and has become a hotspot for breakfast, lunch and early dinner.Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton
West 54 Café and Espresso Bar on Route 54 opened this past July and has become a hotspot for breakfast, lunch and early dinner.

“Everyone from around here has been very warm and welcoming,” said manager Evelyn Baione, who has lived in nearby Ocean City, Md., for 18 years, and managed another coffee shop in Ocean Pines, Md.

West 54 Café offers a variety of pick-me-ups in the morning, from coffee and hot chocolate to chai tea, espressos, lattés, cappuccinos and more. But if coffee and tea drinks aren’t what you’re after, check out their selection of fresh juices, smoothies and Italian sodas.

The bakery carries a wide variety of options, as well, including cinnamon buns, scones, muffins, cannolis, biscotti and flavored croissants. Bagels topped with everything from eggs and bacon to lox and spinach, or Belgium waffles with fresh fruit, are also a great way to get the morning off on the right foot.

By lunch time, paninis, salads, soups and wraps add the perfect touch to a mid-day meal. Craizen chicken salad wraps and the Nantucket Rueben wrap are among their popular menu options, while light fare, offering things like hummus and baked stuffed brie, is available, too. With doors open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., West 54 Café and Espresso Bar is a stop year-round residents and visitors alike can choose whether heading out or heading home.

“We wanted to stay open later to make it convenient for everyone,” noted Baione.

Her business partner, Mark Jurist – owner of Shark’s Cove Marina – and neighboring restaurateur and Catch 54 owner Matt Haley were both privy to Baione’s idea of bringing a coffee shop to the area.

“Mark wanted to do something with the buildings around here,” said Baione, “and a café and espresso bar made sense. Matt agreed that it would be a good draw, and the location is great. A lot of the people who have stopped in have said they’re happy something like this is here for them.”

West 54 Café and Espresso Bar provides customers with a relaxing atmosphere and free Wi-Fi – something that popular coffee chains don’t always offer. Between the coffee and the fireplace inside, those who stop in can enjoy a cozy, warm environment, even when the weather gets chilly. Local artwork and hand-painted crafts line the walls and shelves, as well, and are available for purchase.

By January, Baione plans to have a coffee roaster set up in the front of the shop. Live, acoustic entertainment and organic produce are also scheduled to make their way into West 54 Café and Espresso Bar.

“We want people to get the whole experience,” she added. “Whenever people walk away from here, they can walk away with some great local artwork, or at least enjoy it while they’re here. We’d like to bring the same vibe here that you’d see in coffee shops on the West Coast.”

For more information, call West 54 Café and Espresso Bar at (302) 436-5505, or stop in to the shop, located just west of the Route 54 bridge in Fenwick Island, beside Shark’s Cove Marina and Catch 54.