Founded by renowned pastry chef Nancy Silverton in 1989, La Brea Bakery has long been considered to be the premier artisan bread brand in the United States. But, when the original storefront bakery opened its doors twenty-five years ago, no one could have expected that it would eventually lead to La Brea Bakery breads being sold at the finest restaurants and grocery stores across the country.
To mark this milestone anniversary, La Brea Bakery has opened its newly renovated flagship bakery and café on La Brea Avenue, just a few blocks from the bakery’s original location on it’s namesake street. At the grand opening event, held on January 30th at the café, Chef Nancy Silverton remarked, “We’re so proud to still be on La Brea…[but] we wouldn’t be anywhere else.” The new café, located at the corner of La Brea and 6th Street, pays tribute to the bakery’s history by combining sophisticated design elements with artisanal touches highlighting La Brea Bakery’s ongoing commitment to making bread in an authentic hearth-baked tradition.
Although the glass and brick café is somewhat modern in design, the designers took great steps to preserve the tradition of the original bakery. As Silverton explained, “When you look at [this bakery and café] and see how grand it is, I just want to remind all of you that the heart and soul of this beautiful space is really the bread. It always will be.” Keeping that philosophy in mind, the butcher-block dining tables are made of different types of reclaimed wood, intended to represent the different shades of bread crust baked on site, from dark pumpernickel to the bakery’s celebrated sourdough. In addition, the fabric used on the upholstered booths duplicates the exact shade of celadon green used on the painted windowsills of the original bakery, and the cubbyholes that display the array of freshly baked breads incorporate wooden blocks inscribed with the original La Brea Bakery name tags.
The redesigned La Brea Bakery Café not only pays homage to the brand’s history, it is introducing many new elements as well. While many of the café’s original menu items and espresso drinks remain, new items and a selection of special fresh-baked breads will also be available. The café offers casual table service and an express “take out” counter, which features a 35-foot long lighted display case to showcase the bakery’s famous baked goods as well as many freshly prepared savory items, such as salads and sandwiches. In addition, a new wood-fired pizza oven will be used to prepare artisan pizzas and focaccia.
The new bakery café will be open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, but there are plans to add dinner service, another new feature, very soon. "The reopening of the La Brea Bakery’s flagship café helps honor our landmark 25th year and opens an exciting new chapter in the rich history of our bakery,” said Mark Olcott, SVP Fresh Operations. But, as this exciting next phase for the La Brea Bakery brand begins, Chef Silverton reminded everyone that, “some things never change, including our passion for perfection…and that you will always see and taste in our food.”