Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
The corner of 7th St NW and E St NW is busy. Verizon Center traffic, Portrait Gallery traffic, National Mall traffic, office workers traffic, teenagers on their mandatory D.C. visit traffic. Bakers & Baristas will benefit from the traffic. For the person that wants a nicer coffee than Starbucks (it’s across the street), craves something a little more delicate than a cupcake (Red Velvet is next door) and wouldn’t mind an afternoon sitting in a bright, sunny room, Bakers & Baristas will soon be an option.
Owner Aaron Gordon, the man behind Red Velvet, wanted to bring something people would crave year-round. The former Tangy Sweet frozen yogurt location will serve Viennese pastries made from scratch. Viennese pastries made from scratch haven’t been available in the D.C. area for over a decade. Frozen yogurt, that isn’t too hard to find.
“It’s such a proud tradition in Vienna,” said Gordon. “We’re not pretending to be that, we’re inspired by that.” Inspired by means the food will strive for the same quality but the well-dressed waiters, table service and ample smoking areas will not be present. Patrons will instead get a modern meets classic space, quick service and a place ideal for one-on-one Penn Quarter meetings.
The people in charge of the Viennese pastries are Naomi Gallego (current executive pastry chef of Blue Duck Tavern, formerly Le Diplomate) and chef Lindsay Meehan (Red Velvet). Gallego is helping design the menu and Meehan will be running the kitchen. They’ll be preparing treats like Butterkuchen, a simple and rich cake.
Bakers & Baristas soft opening is Wednesday, January 21. They’ll be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., serving simple sandwiches during lunch hours and will soon expand hours to 11 p.m. with desserts. Gluten free options are in the works.