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The City Council tonight granted a special use permit to allow Mocha Mo’s, the coffee shop at 400 Princess Anne St., to extend its hours. Mo’s original permit limits its hours to 4:45 a.m. until 11 a.m.
The new permit lets it stay open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The permit for the new hours passed unanimously.
"I think we should do anything in our power to enable businesses to stay open later, especially past 5:00 so that we can do something downtown besides window shop," said Councilman Brad Ellis.
Mocha Mo’s owner Maureen Bartosh said she didn’t set out to keep her shop open so late from the beginning, but people in the neighborhood asked for a place to go later in the evening. She said she doesn’t plan to expand her menu or drink selection in the extended hours (Council members didn’t want to see the place turn into a bar, and Vice Mayor Kerry Devine asked that a condition be added to the permit that would stipulate that no alcohol be served. That would convey to any new owner.)
"They want a place to come and have a dessert and chat," Bartosh said. "You can’t close at 9:00, people are just starting to mill around at 8:30, everyone commutes to D.C."
She pointed out that just down the street, Brock’s is open late serving food and beer.
"We’re not an alcoholic establishment, we’re not doing anything that’s loud, we’re just looking for a neighborhood night spot," Bartosh said.