A report by Dana Eastland: Back in June, the news hit that Starbucks would be closing all 23 of the La Boulange locations the corporation purchased from Pascal Rigo back in 2012. Well, now that the dust has settled, The San Francisco Business Times reports that Rigo will be reopening six of the former La Boulange locations independently.
He can’t call them La Boulange, though, since he sold that name to Starbucks, so instead he’ll be calling them LA BOULANGERIE DE SAN FRANCISCO. Rigo plans to open the Pine Street location first, on Thursday October 1st. He’ll follow that up by opening in five other former locations, one per week: Cole Valley, Fillmore Street, Hayes Valley, Union Street, and Noe Valley.
As for Rigo’s plans for the new(ish) locations, he’ll be keeping the menu focused on pastry, but “a lot more rustic than it was…big slices of everything, with lots of fruit and less cream,” he says. He also plans to keep the revamped mini-chain small and will be cautious about growth moving forward. As he says, after the Starbucks misadventure, “we want to be better than we ever were—we cannot screw it up.” As for the rest of the chain’s locations, including those in Los Angeles and the North Bay, Los Angeles-based chain Lemonade is reportedly interested in some of them, and we have news below about an exciting development at the Westfield Under the Dome location. The first La Boulangerie de San Francisco to (re)open will be at 2325 Pine St. at Fillmore.
The speculation over what will happen with the remaining Boulange locations continues (the Business Times referred to it as a real estate “feeding frenzy”), but at least one has been spoken for through the end of the year. ~LA COCINA~ will be moving into the Westfield Mall location, in the Under the Dome restaurant collection.
According to an announcement on Facebook, they’ll be opening the new location on Thursday October 1st. We heard from the La Cocina team that this will actually be a temporary café and market called EL MERCADO. They’ll be selling Equator coffee, pastries from Hayes Valley Bakeworks and Pinkie’s, and goods from La Cocina businesses including Crumble & Whisk, Dough & Co, Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, A Girl Named Pinky, and Don Bugito.
To start, the café will be in a bit of a soft opening phase, but Fernay McPherson (Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement) and Adriana Lahl (Sal de Vida) will be employed by La Cocina as the cafe’s head chefs and will be adding more hot food options moving forward. Then, in November, the location will add dry goods and gift items for the holiday season, so you can get a bite and do plenty of holiday shopping all in one place. Right now, the plan is to stay open through the end of the year, but our fingers are crossed that they are able to stay longer! Hours are daily 10am-8:30pm. 865 Market St. at 5th St., Fourth Floor.
The Pine Street location of La Boulangerie de San Francisco. Yelp photo by J W.