Is this a bookstore? Ice cream shop? Art gallery? Coffeehouse?

How about a bookstore, ice cream, art gallery coffeehouse. That properly describes the Market Street Cafe in Frederick, Maryland, the second largest city in Maryland that’s enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

These mutiple-venues-in-one are a growing trend in retail, and a good one too. At the Market Street Cafe you can browse through a carefully selected stock of used books, enjoy a great cup of coffee and ice cream for dessert, peruse the local art for sale on the walls, run into your neighborhood friends, then stay for open mic poetry.

The cafe opened four years ago, at the same time houses began doubling and tripling in value – that’s what happens when a downtown hits the tipping point. The best is yet to come, as they’re working on a San Antonio Riverwalk-type scene on their canal – then Frederick will have an active nightlife too.