Residents of the Tenderloin will soon have a new spot to grab croissants, pastries and other Parisian delights. The folks behind Le Marais Bakery are planning a new bakery at 1138 Sutter St. (at Larkin) in Lower Nob Hill, which will double as a production facility for their bakeries in the Marina and Ghirardelli Square, and a soon-to-open third location in the Castro.
"It will be a very old-school, Parisian-style bakery in feel and character," said owner Patrick Ascaso. "The Art Deco building already lends itself to that."
With 5,000 square feet, the new space will include both a full-scale production kitchen and a pastry counter with 20 seats. The facility will allow the bakery to produce more of its popular croissants, patisseries, and cakes for wholesale, and provide catering services.
“[The building is] a very fitting size for our business right now,” Ascaso said.
Compared to the other locations, the Sutter Street location's cafe will offer a scaled-back brunch and lunch menu, with quiches, pastries, coffee and tea. Depending on how things evolve, it may later expand to offer the full menu available at the other locations, including beer and wine.
The bakery's space formerly housed the Larkin Street Youth Center, which moved to a larger location at 134 Golden Gate Ave. last year. The youth center's former offices will be turned into separate tempered rooms for cakes, croissants and even a small chocolate room. Each room will be temperature-controlled, to maximize the quality of the bakery’s products.
“We always kept coming back to it,” Ascaso said of the decision to move into the neighborhood. “Sometimes you have to follow your instincts.”
The new location is surrounded by other bakeries, including Jane and Mr. Holmes Bakeshop on Larkin Street and Lotta’s on Polk Street. Ascaso told us he believes each bakery has a distinct personality, and dreams of the area becoming a destination "bakery row."
“We really appreciate our competitors, and think we provide a very different line of products,” he said.
Le Marais is aiming to open up the Sutter Street space for production sometime this summer, adding the retail aspect of the project in stages. To stay updated on the new location’s progress, visit Le Marais’ Facebook page.
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