While ‘old man winter’ tries to keep his icy grip on the Eastern Shore, things are heating up in Dorchester County Maryland with the April opening of new businesses in Cambridge.

“If Spring signals new beginnings, then Dorchester is poised to enjoy the first wave of almost a dozen shops, cafes and attractions opening here in the coming months,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, Director of Tourism. “Beautifully curated, locally owned stores provide another compelling reason for visitors to make Dorchester a destination of choice on the Eastern Shore.”

In the coming weeks, Cambridge cuts the ribbon on three new retailers – The Blue Awning, Rise-Up Coffee and Artisan Gourmet – and welcomes The Wine Bar’s expansion.

Cambridge residents Beth Kline and Mary Ann McNamara will roll out the red-carpet April 14 for The Blue Awning, a new home and garden goods store at 430 Race Street. Showcasing a wide variety of unique gifts and décor, the owners will also feature hands-on workshops in the store’s bright classroom and patio.

“From living wreaths and container gardens to English ‘troughs,’ we want to offer our customers the experience of creating – and taking home – beautiful gifts and garden treasures,” said Kline.

Dorchester ‘weekenders’ for 16 years, Beth – a former Smithsonian executive – and Mary Ann – a retired transportation official who was instrumental in the federal byways program – became full time residents in 2017.

Artisan Gourmet, a new specialty store developed by Cambridge proprietors Ed Johnson and Randy Decker, will soon debut at 412 Race Street. Tucked between The Wine Bar and Cottage Studio, the gourmet shop features a large selection of local gourmet foods alongside kitchen and dining room essentials including pots, dishes and glassware.

“We’ve partnered with Candace Christopher — an amazing and accomplished local chef also known as the “Baking Mariner” – to create bite-sized deserts to complement our selection of chocolates and cheeses,” said Johnson.

Artisan Gourmet’s specialty food items include cheese, chocolate and condiment collections to enjoy on site or at home. With a grand opening set for Friday, April 27, Johnson and Decker will start welcoming customers to their new shop after Easter.

Further cementing downtown Cambridge’s reputation as a go-to destination for oenophiles across the shore, Johnson and Decker are also expanding The Wine Bar at 414 Race Street to add more seating, a new lounge area, and increase their wine selection.

At least five more additional shops and restaurants are set to open in Cambridge in May and June.