Commercial feel, menu draw staff, visitors.
The Corcoran Café in downtown Baltimore looks for all the world like a trendy street-side eatery…except that it is located inside a hospital: the lobby of the new Bunting Center on the Mercy Medical Center campus to be exact. The 134-seat eatery, which debuted in December 2010, is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and midnight to 2 a.m. to accommodate night shift workers.
One of four retail cafes at Mercy—a community hospital known internationally for its Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine and recognized as one of the top 10 centers for women’s healthcare—it generates sales of more than $30,000 weekly from both staff—with whom it has become a popular dining spot and who generate about three-quarters of the café’s sales—and with the medical center's many visitors.
The influx of visitors is magnified by the location, as Corcoran is located right outside of the parking garage and is the first contact visitors make with the hospital when they enter. It is also open to the lobby, which is on street level in downtown Baltimore.
“Because Mercy has phenomenal outpatient services, our retail venues are driven by out-patient activities and need to be trend-forward and healthier than neighboring restaurants,” says Janet Schuch, district manager for Cura Hospitality, which manages Corcoran along with three other retail foodservice outlets on the Mercy campus.
The daily menu includes made-to-order sandwiches, hot entrees, three soups made from stock, calzones, stromboli and fresh-dough pizza prepared in a brick oven, plus hot and cold beverages and various grab-and-go options like wraps, sushi, fresh fruit and healthy HIP (Healthy Interruption Points) items like granola, tropical trail mix and dried fruit located at the register for impulse sales.
A salad bar features composed salads like chick pea with cranberry and walnuts and medley of beans. An omelette station is available in the morning.