There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
David Guas has waited a long time for the opening of his first restaurant, Bayou Bakery. The former pastry chef for Passion Food Hospitality has fought through a failed partnership, a prolonged real-estate hunt, and the usual bureaucratic bunglings (really, don’t ask about the signage issue with the county) to get to this moment:
Bayou Bakery will finally open on Saturday at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Arlington.
Guas plans a limited launch on Saturday to coincide with the hours of the weekly Arlington Farmers Market just down the street. The chef will offer a limited menu and gradually expand to the full menu as the Bayou Bakery team gets its systems in place. (You can review many of the menu offerings here.)
A couple of weeks ago, Guas gave me a walk through of his new place. You can poke through the photos after the jump.
As of a couple of weeks ago, the sign for Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe, the former occupant of this space,was still in place. Guas has gone back and forth with the county over the technical requirements for outdoor signs.
The tables are covered in Kirei board, an environmentally friendly wood alternative made from pressed sorghum.
Guas and his wife/publicist Simone Rathle have bought many of the furnishings and decorations second-hand; they’ve been storing them in the family garage until they could begin moving them into Bayou Bakery.
The shutters above the main counter come from Second Chance in Baltimore. Guas bought them to evoke the storm shutters of New Orleans.
The comfy old bar chairs come from New Orleans. Their worn look fits in nicely with the funky, weather-beaten vibe of Bayou Bakery, but the tall chairs don’t have foot rests attached. So Guas had to install a foot rail along the back of the banquette, so customers’ feet wouldn’t dangle.
A lead-glass piece that Guas salvaged for his new place.
Guas plans to sell t-shirts, seasonal jams and butters, and copies of his excellent cookbook, DamGoodSweet.
Guas’ cousin, Ellen Macomber, created most of the artwork that hangs inside Bayou Bakery.
A curtain can seal off (or partially seal off, since it doesn’t reach all the way across the floor) the lounge area. Guas foresees people reserving the space for parties or football watching. By the way, if you’re curious, Guas isn’t exactly anti-Redskins even though he’s a die-hard Saints fan. “Just as long as the Saints don’t play the Redskins, I’ll cheer for them,” he says.
What’s a Louisiana-themed eatery without a gator?
Guas found this old feed grain cart at a salvage yard. He paid $10 for it. It’s now the main table in the lounge.
The women’s bathroom is wallpapered with dessert recipes from Southern cookbooks.
The men’s bathroom is papered with recipes devoted to wild game.
Guas fashioned this coat rack from reclaimed door knobs.
Because the old Camille’s space had a limited kitchen, with no fryers or high-powered burners (or the appropriate hood ventilation system), Guas had to purchase a ventless fryer, with its own built-in system for cleaning fumes. It was an absolute necessity. “If I can’t do beignets at Bayou Bakery,” he says, “it doesn’t make sense.”