Bakers & Baristas, a European-Style Bakery, Will Open in Penn Quarter

Fresh danishes, local coffee, and Viennese sweets arrive next week.

Bakers & Baristas will bring Compass Coffee and European-style desserts to Penn Quarter, like this orange-glazed braid with spiced plum. Photograph courtesy of Bakers & Baristas.

Penn Quarter will get a European-style patisserie next Thursday with the opening of Bakers & Baristas. Owner Aaron Gordon—who’s also behind Red Light and Drafting Table on 14th Street—transformed the former Tangy Sweet space into a lofty Viennese pastry house, and brought on Blue Duck Tavern pastry chef Naomi Gallego to create a selection of desserts alongside chef Lindsay Meehan.

While Gordon’s adjoining establishment Red Velvet will continue to serve cupcakes as usual, the team wanted to create a different kind of all-day sweet shop offering less-common baked goods from Europe. The 32-seat space channels a modern Viennese coffee house with painted-glass windows and a large display case, and guests can watch the production process through an open view into the pastry kitchen. Mornings will bring strong brews from local roaster Compass Coffee and a mix of sweet and cheese danishes—baked fresh with high-quality butter to avoid the stiff, gluey quality of many commercial versions. Simple, cafe-style sandwiches on house-baked bread and savory turnovers will be available at lunch, alongside a daily selection of treats such as citrus-filled brioche buns, blueberry-yogurt tarts, butterkuchen (a German sugar-almond cake), coffee cake, and Viennese cookies by the piece or bag.

The shop will eventually stay open until 10 in the evenings for dressier, dinner-style desserts, such as the rich Viennese-style sachertorte, quark cheesecake, and chocolate-caramel tarts. Look for an expansion of both the menu and hours after the soft opening, which begins on Thursday, January 15.

Bakers & Baristas. 501 Seventh St., NW; 202-347-7893. Soft opening hours: 7 to 6 daily. Full hours: 7 to 10 daily.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.