Pasadena’s Old Sasoon Bakery will debut a brand new dining room later this fall as part of a three-year renovation project to upgrade the nearly 40-year-old Armenian bakery. Owner Joseph Geragosian also revamped the bakery’s outdoor patio facing Allen Avenue and extended the menu as part of a multi-year effort to enhance the beloved institution. Word spread to a national audience about Old Sasoon Bakery when Geragosian and his family were named 2022 James Beard Award Semifinalists in the Outstanding Baker category.
Old Sasoon took over the former Salon Figaros space directly next door, knocking down part of the bakery’s existing southern wall to create a new 32-seat dining area that features grey walls and framed prints by Pasadena-based Armenian artist Mike Agopian. In addition to the six tables dotted around the room, eight bar stools line the bar-height counter against the window. The new indoor seating gives the bakery’s patrons more room to eat and relax, especially “during the winter months,” says Geragosian. Although the bakery will employ a server and a busser, diners will pick up their food at the front counter.
While Old Sasoon has always provided a few tables and chairs for diners along Allen Avenue, the latest updates to the outdoor seating area include adding a planter around the small oak tree and a newly built square-shaped table directly above the planter that wraps around the tree. Four additional tables and sun shades provide respite from the heat. “Everybody likes it,” Geragosian says, adding that people comment that it feels like a European cafe.
Old Sasoon’s original menu was only six items long when Geragosian’s father Haroutioun opened the business in 1986. Geragosian added more items “little by little” when he took over the bakery, showcasing food from Armenian, Georgian, and Middle Eastern cultures. The latest menu items include a double-decker za’atar and cheese flatbread; “foul by bowl,” a soul-warming stew of fava beans served with fresh herbs and pickles; and jingalov hats, a classic Armenian herb-stuffed flatbread.
Old Sasoon is best known for its lahmajune, khachapuri, and za’atar flatbread. It is also a spot for vegans and vegetarians to get their fill with beorag options such as spinach, olive, mushroom, potato, Swiss chard, and fava beans. Geragosian’s favorite item on the menu is the spicy cheese beoreg: “I have to have one” regularly, he says.
With a slew of new seating arrangements and menu additions at Old Sasoon Bakery, there will be more opportunities to experience the homegrown goodness at this Pasadena stalwart.
Old Sassoon Bakery is located at 1132 Allen Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91104, and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.