Now, we've got one big clue as to what might be going on, as a business filing dated Sept. 18th has registered a "La Boulangerie de San Francisco" at 2325 Pine St., the original La Boulange location.
The company behind the name is listed only as "Nouveau Bakery LLC," and there's nothing officially linking Rigo to the new project. However, scuttlebutt from neighbors indicates that the rumors of Rigo's involvement hold water, and that at least the Hayes Valley and Cole Valley locations could be part of the revival.
"Pascal is definitely going to get to keep it," said longtime Hayes Valley resident Madeline Behrens-Brigham of the Hayes Street location. She told us she got the information from a trusted source, who also told her that the staff will remain the same as before. That jibes with reader Francis, who commented on a previous Hoodline story that "I talked with one of the employees at the Hayes and Octavia location and he told me 'it's not going to become a Starbucks as far as I know, and I'm not allowed to talk about exactly what's going to happen, but let's just say—I'm not worried about my job."
Cole Valley locals have also heard that the Cole Street location will reopen. One commenter in the Cole Valley Facebook group echoed the news, noting that Rigo would be opening a new cafe, similar to the La Boulange concept, in the former Cole Valley cafe location, and saying that it could open as soon as mid-October.
We've reached out numerous times to Rigo himself, but so far he's keeping mum about his plans. Rigo had been working to integrate La Boulange's approach into Starbucks after the Seattle coffee chain acquired the company in 2012. His future plans became uncertain in June, when Starbucks announced the plan to close all locations.
For now, it remains to be seen just how many and which former La Boulange locations might see new life. For now, all signs point to the Pacific Heights, Hayes Valley, and Cole Valley locations to be part of the "La Boulangerie de San Francisco" revival.