The already bakery-heavy stretch of La Brea Boulevard between Wilshire and Melrose is about to get one more pastry case. La Boulange, a bakery and cafe concept owned by Starbucks, will serve breads, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and a dinner menu when it opens next month.
The build-out, which razed an existing structure on La Brea near 4th in order to start from scratch, took just about six months. It's a stand-alone structure, with parking in the back, a long interior dining area, a bar, and outdoor seating for about 40. The interior's natural woods, wall-to-wall windows, and exterior awnings make it look a lot like La Brea Bakery, which is just a couple of blocks away.
When the Bay Area's La Boulange Bakery — which began as a small neighborhood shop in 1996 — was acquired by Starbucks in 2012, it looked like the coffee giant was trying to add an artisanal element to the brand. They've since started shipping La Boulange's croissants, cookies, and cakes across the country — with mixed results.
Now, it appears as though Starbucks is officially getting into the bakery business by opening their own model of La Boulange as a counter-service bakery open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. La Boulange LA has a wine and beer license; find six taps and rows and rows of storage for wine bottles and glasses behind the bar. While most of La Boulange's locations in San Francisco close by 7 p.m., this one hopes serve dinner guests into the evening hours. La Boulange is currently hiring and training staff and plans to open within the next three weeks.
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