Easton Sidewalks: Paul Prager adds a New Coffee Shop

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As a few Easton “in the know” residents are aware, local developer Paul Prager, a New York transplant and highly successful businessman, has been quietly transforming Federal Street over the last few years into the “go to” block for food offerings just steps from the County Courthouse building.

Starting with a up-scale lunch venue, featuring gourmet salads and other light food, followed by a high-end juice bar, yoga studio, and more recently, a fine dining restaurant, Mr. Prager, and his company Bluepoint Hospitality Group, has invested millions into making this small side street a new hub for foodies and health enthusiasts.

Without any fanfare, Paul’s newest addition, Weather Gage Coffee, opened its doors a few weeks ago and the Spy decided to check out the town’s new bean shop.

Matching the high style of the rest of the block, Weather Gage could just as easily be located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. With marble floors, dark wood walls, oil paintings, and very limited offerings, the coffee shop once again demonstrates Prager’s good taste, but also his conviction that Talbot County residents will seek out and support this high-end collection of specialty shops in the years ahead.

Letters to Editor

  1. Excellent! Another welcome addition.

  2. Love seeing new businesses that are focused around walkability and the downtown! It takes more effort to redevelop existing structure likes these – but it pays off in the long run. FAR better than some coffee shop developed on car-only accessible roads on the outskirts of town. Now if we could just get some more inexpensive “third places” around town to keep people from getting coffee and just going home.

  3. Karen Boldosser says:

    High End… again, and again? I didn’t move here to experience Manhattan, or even other boutique communities when I came to Easton.I was drawn by its simple charm and the friendliness of it’s residents.

    While I’m happy to see those buildings revamped, it would be nice if Mr. Prager did so in such a manner that blended with the spirit of our community. I’m concerned that our local businesses will be priced out due to high rents, an issue that has already precluded some local charities from renting the Historical Society Auditorium (The Prager Family Auditorium).

    Community is the core of what makes Easton such a vibrant, special treasure.

    • I like that someone is interested in helping to restore the downtown area and keep it vibrant…way to go Mr. Prager!
      The comment as to the Historical Society is so true….a local group, Chesapeake Children’s Theater is closing unfortunately….a group that has empowered many children in this area…reason??? finding a place affordable to put on their plays. It wold be nice if Mr. Prager could give financial breaks to non profits or even form a partnership, donation, whatever to help keep this exceptional children’s group going. We need to help keep Easton vibrant not just a cash cow!

    • Doug Davies says:

      Sadly, I don’t think it works that way. The high-end retail is a result of the high rents – have to charge more to pay the bills. It will be a challenge to compete with Rise Up, rated the #1 coffee spot in Maryland with these prices but it’s a consequence of location. In my opinion, downtown is overpriced – based solely on the number of businesses that come and go. There’s so much garbage real-estate that can suck businesses away from the downtown and the current market there makes things even more difficult. There needs to be more residential (walkable to the downtown, or right downtown) so there’s a more consistent customer base that could support these businesses on an economy of scale. I don’t know the specifics but these seem to me to be some of the challenges: unusually high rent, lack of residential (24/7 eyes on the street), and subsequently small customer base.

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