As far as Nicholas Qaabar is concerned, you can never have enough coffee, books or houseplants. “I’m a lover of all of the above,” he says. And beginning Thursday, Jan. 5, he’ll share the love.
Qaabar owns Scout Café, the new coffee shop at Baynard Boulevard and North Van Buren Street.
The brick building’s wedge shape is appropriate, considering the area. But in addition to the Triangle, Scout Café is close to Baynard Village and the Ninth Ward. “I want it to be a community hub where people can connect and talk to one another,” he says.
You can’t miss the café. Qaabar gave the façade a crisp coat of white paint and contrasting black trim. Farmhouse-style lamps accent a set of expansive windows, and two matching lights are on either side of the black door, crowned by a pediment. It’s a mix of contemporary and traditional.
Inside, leafy houseplants soak up the light that pours into the open space. Woven bistro chairs are nestled beneath wood tables, and overstuffed pillows in earthy colors line the benches.
Qaabar says the name “Scout” refers to seeking adventures of all kinds, and judging by the room’s palette, the great outdoors is an inspiration. For instance, the counter has stripes the color of Colorado evergreens.
He’s mounted shelves for books and wares, including custom candles from Two Dads Candles and soap with exfoliating coffee grounds from Delaware-based Annie’s Market Stand
Qaabar promotes local vendors. Baked goods, for example, come from the newly opened Hell’s Belles Bake Shop in Wilmington’s Little Italy section.
Originally from the Middle East, Qaabar has peppered his menu with dishes influenced by his heritage. Consider a breakfast sandwich with hummus, tomato, sprouts, and bagel seasoning. At lunch, tuck into a smashed falafel sandwich with hummus, lemon tahini drizzle, red onion and sprouts. You’ll also find a Greek salad with a falafel and greens with grilled halloumi.
For local flair, try Mrs. Van Buren, a sandwich with roasted chicken, havarti, red onion, tomato and pesto, or Mr. Baynard, a breakfast sammy sporting peanut butter, bananas and local honey from Sassy Bees in Bellefonte.
However, the shop’s bread and butter is the coffee, which comes from Brooklyn-based Partners Coffee Roasters, a Fair Trade company that supports coffee farmers. Expect the usual drinks, including cappuccino, café au lait and Cubano.
However, Scout Café also offers French press coffee and teas, which are best enjoyed sitting at a table. “We’re trying to be a little homey and cozy rather than grab-and-go,” explained Qaabar, who lived in Europe and Canada before moving to the area to be near family.
The hours are Thursday, Friday and Monday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
2316 Baynard Blvd., Wilmington; scout-cafe.com