Red Emma's

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Red Emma's
Red Emma's Cathedral Street location.jpg
CountryUnited States
TypeBookstore, Vegan Restaurant
LocationBaltimore, Maryland
Red Emma's previous location on North Ave
Former Exterior of Red Emma's

Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse is a radical infoshop located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States and run by a worker-owner collective.[1] Named for anarchist Emma Goldman, Red Emma's opened in November 2004 and sells fair trade coffee, vegetarian and vegan foods and books. The space also provides free computer access to the Baltimore community, wireless internet and film screenings, political teach-ins, and community events.


Red Emma's was re-created from a previous infoshop named Black Planet Books formerly located on the Fells Point Broadway, then 1621 Fleet Street. Through June 2013, the store operated from 800 St. Paul Street in Mount Vernon. It reopened in the Fall of 2013 in a much larger space at 30 W. North Avenue, in the Station North neighborhood, in Baltimore.[2][3] In Fall of 2018, Red Emma's moved back to Mount Vernon to 1225 Cathedral Street, to a space featuring two floors, an expanded bookstore, and a bar.[4]

Collective ownership[edit]

Since before the official opening in 2004, all decisions regarding the operations of the space have been made by consensus. The collective of worker-owners has ranged in size from 10 to 20 over the 7 years the shop has been open, usually hovering around 15. Collective meetings are open to the public.

The Red Emma's Collective is a closed shop, organized with the Industrial Workers of the World. That means that all collective members are also members of IU 660—the "One Big Union".

Past events[edit]

Past events have included a talk by ex-Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, presentations by the Beehive Collective, and small concerts, including many by members of the Riot Folk Collective, and Charming Hostess. Imprisoned Black Panther Marshall "Eddie" Conway has done call-in readings and talks from jail, and Red Emma's often hosts talks by local activist organizations. The Bookstore is also a venue for touring authors.

Red Emma's accolades include "Best Coffeehouse" by the student body of Johns Hopkins University in 2005, and the Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore awards in 2005 for "Best Wireless Hotspot" and in 2006 for "Best Non-Bar Hangout."


In March 2007, Red Emma's joined with St. John's United Methodist to form 2640, "a noncommercial, cooperatively managed space for radical politics and grassroots culture."[5] The organization centers around management of the Charles Village church located at 2640 Saint Paul Street. In addition to Sunday services, the facility is used as a community space.[6]

The Baltimore Free School[edit]

Baltimore Free School, Dec. 2012

In September 2009, classes began at 1323 N. Calvert St., in Baltimore, MD, at the Baltimore Free School. The Free School is volunteer run and any person is invited to teach a class or series of classes with no certification required.[7] In 2012, the school was located at 512-516 W. Franklin St.,[8] but has since moved into a classroom in the Red Emma's Coffeestore Bookhouse at 30 W. North Ave.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Retriever Weekly > Features > Coffeeshop collective inspires crea…". 2012-09-08. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08.
  2. ^ "Red Emma's Announces Move to Station North Archived 2013-01-21 at the Wayback Machine". City Paper, 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ Corey Reidy, "Red Emma's is Moving!: An Interview", Indyreader, 29 April 2013.
  4. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole. "Red Emma's restaurant and bookstore is moving to Mid-Town Belvedere". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  5. ^ What is 2640?
  6. ^ "Church, anarchists come to each other's rescue". Baltimore Sun (November 27, 2007)
  7. ^ "A Beginning: The Baltimore Free School" (13). Winter 2009–2010. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "The Baltimore Free School". Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "The Baltimore Free School". Retrieved August 23, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 39°17′56.06″N 76°36′51.21″W / 39.2989056°N 76.6142250°W / 39.2989056; -76.6142250