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.