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Bread Furst - Please Help Mark Furstenberg Find A Location


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I live near there and I LOVE Breadline but I am skeptical about this place. Who wants a bread place? Americans don't lack "fresh bread" places on every corner (like France) because nobody has created them, we lack them because nobody wants them. And if they do, there's plenty of farmer's market and other options. I don't see it. I wish he'd just open a new Breadline or maybe a bagel place because it looks like the Dupont Bethesda Bagels won't open any time soon.

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I live near there and I LOVE Breadline but I am skeptical about this place. Who wants a bread place? Americans don't lack "fresh bread" places on every corner (like France) because nobody has created them, we lack them because nobody wants them. And if they do, there's plenty of farmer's market and other options. I don't see it. I wish he'd just open a new Breadline or maybe a bagel place because it looks like the Dupont Bethesda Bagels won't open any time soon.

Huh? I think the success of Marvelous Market belies your argument. I think Americans love bakeries which is why there has been a renaissance in cities across the country, from cupcakes to full blown bakeries. Plus the press reports indicate Bread Furst will have food stuffs in addition to bread. Also, I think the Bethesda Bagels is supposed to open in the next month, they are working round the clock.

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I live near there and I LOVE Breadline but I am skeptical about this place. Who wants a bread place? Americans don't lack "fresh bread" places on every corner (like France) because nobody has created them, we lack them because nobody wants them. And if they do, there's plenty of farmer's market and other options. I don't see it. I wish he'd just open a new Breadline or maybe a bagel place because it looks like the Dupont Bethesda Bagels won't open any time soon.

Furstenburg hasn't been involved with Breadline for years and does not have the option of opening any more. The quality of the bread at Breadline has diminished significantly since he sold out to a chain.

I, personally, know lots of Americans want a fresh bread place; the wares available at farmers markets have been at best a partial substitute for Mr. Furstenburg's products, and the less said of Pain Quotidienne and Marvellous Market (hey, maybe we do want a "fresh bread place" on every corner) the better.

One hopes that an edible baguette will someday again be available in Washington. Or, better yet, a Palladin loaf. I shall buy them by the dozen.

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I got this email today from Mark Furstenberg regarding his desire to open Bread Furst, and with his permission, I'm reprinting it here in its entirety.

Mark needs to find some real estate. Can anyone help him? His website is www.remarkablebreads.com.

Cheers,

Rocks

---

It appears we won't be at Chevy Chase Circle after all.

I have just concluded yet another unsuccessful effort to fine a location for Bread Furst, a neighborhood bakery in Washington. The wonderful location at the Universal Building just above Dupont Circle didn't work out. That was nearly two years ago. I can't even tell you how many locations I have looked at since then. Spaces around Dupont Circle are now renting for $100 a square foot with no tenant improvement contribution. Two Adams Morgan locations I looked at didn't seem right. I tried on P Street. I considered Georgetown. Then a failed effort to buy Marvelous Market, my first bakery that over the years has become more-or-less a convenience store. Now this.

I have been at this now for three years, trying to find a location for a retail bakery. I think Washingtonians would like to have a neighborhood bakery but it is a business that in my opinion requires pedestrian traffic. And in this city people don't walk so much and in very few neighborhoods do people shop on foot. I have confined my search to those few neighborhoods where people do walk and might stop for good bread, a pie, a cookie.

In January, Saied Azali, my good friend, found an ideal location -- at an historic arcade built in 1925 in the neighborhood just south of Chevy Chase Circle, less than a mile from Politics and Prose and Marvelous Market.

I negotiated for two months with the owner of the arcade and we were not able to reach an agreement satisfactory to both sides. So it's back to the search.

I am growing old in this process. (I wasn't young when it began.) If I had been able to rent the storefront at the Chevy Chase Arcade, I still would have opened Bread Furst after my 75th birthday.

Now who knows? Right now I have the energy for it. I also have plans and staff. I have encouraging projections and a good business plan. I have a fair amount of the capital needed to open. Indeed, I have everything except a location.

Mark

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Furstenburg hasn't been involved with Breadline for years and does not have the option of opening any more. The quality of the bread at Breadline has diminished significantly since he sold out to a chain.

I, personally, know lots of Americans want a fresh bread place; the wares available at farmers markets have been at best a partial substitute for Mr. Furstenburg's products, and the less said of Pain Quotidienne and Marvellous Market (hey, maybe we do want a "fresh bread place" on every corner) the better.

One hopes that an edible baguette will someday again be available in Washington. Or, better yet, a Palladin loaf. I shall buy them by the dozen.

Hadn't noticed this thread before and wanted to quote the above. Waitman, I hope you're buying baguettes by the dozen from Leonora in Arlington (also available at Arrowine)? :huh:

I got this email today from Mark Furstenberg regarding his desire to open Bread Furst, and with his permission, I'm reprinting it here in its entirety.

Mark needs to find some real estate. Can anyone help him?

Cheers,

Rocks

---

It appears we won't be at Chevy Chase Circle after all.

I have just concluded yet another unsuccessful effort to fine a location for Bread Furst, a neighborhood bakery in Washington. The wonderful location at the Universal Building just above Dupont Circle didn't work out. That was nearly two years ago. I can't even tell you how many locations I have looked at since then. Spaces around Dupont Circle are now renting for $100 a square foot with no tenant improvement contribution. Two Adams Morgan locations I looked at didn't seem right. I tried on P Street. I considered Georgetown. Then a failed effort to buy Marvelous Market, my first bakery that over the years has become more-or-less a convenience store. Now this.

I have been at this now for three years, trying to find a location for a retail bakery. I think Washingtonians would like to have a neighborhood bakery but it is a business that in my opinion requires pedestrian traffic. And in this city people don't walk so much and in very few neighborhoods do people shop on foot. I have confined my search to those few neighborhoods where people do walk and might stop for good bread, a pie, a cookie.

In January, Saied Azali, my good friend, found an ideal location -- at an historic arcade built in 1925 in the neighborhood just south of Chevy Chase Circle, less than a mile from Politics and Prose and Marvelous Market.

I negotiated for two months with the owner of the arcade and we were not able to reach an agreement satisfactory to both sides. So it's back to the search.

I am growing old in this process. (I wasn't young when it began.) If I had been able to rent the storefront at the Chevy Chase Arcade, I still would have opened Bread Furst after my 75th birthday.

Now who knows? Right now I have the energy for it. I also have plans and staff. I have encouraging projections and a good business plan. I have a fair amount of the capital needed to open. Indeed, I have everything except a location.

Mark

For a city whose political leaders talk all the time about being friendly to small business, this email, given the author and the content, cast a very dark shadow on the sincerity and seriousness of those claims. Very sad. I hope someone who reads this will be able to help.

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There are empty storefronts in Mount Pleasant, and someone could give Hellers a run for their money (no one in the area really likes Hellers, but it is the only option). The success of the newly opened beau Thai and the upcoming opening of a local foods provider in the Nana space show that the neighborhood is eager to support new, good places. The pent up demand is huge..... Plus, you are in a lower rent zone near several buses, the Columbia heights metro, and Adams Morgan.

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$100/ft all over dupont circle. Wow. And that is why food and drink prices keep going up in DC and in various expensive sections of the DC region. I recall getting in a "bread line" at Marvelous Market on Upper Ct Ave in the early 90's. I'd guess that rent was in the $20's/ft.

$100/ft around dupont circle. I'd bet those retail rents were around $30 something/foot back when He first opened his first stores.

At about 3,000 feet (my guess for a store based on memory) the difference between rents than and now suggest he'd pay an extra $500/day in rent. That is a lot of rent to cover when you are selling breads for several dollars/loaf. Its basically telling the baker that every loaf needs to be priced at about $1 more than in the past.

Its no wonder prices for foods like that keep soaring. Its been a long time since I leased retail space. Rents are astoundingly high. I got a feel for current rent quotes on the Wilson Blvd retail center that Michael Landrum's Ray's Burgers departed. All incredibly high.

Jeeeeshhhhhhhhh. If you want well priced food...find it in some over retailed low rent places in the outer suburbs or in some areas with relatively depressed retail rents such as Silver Spring.

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I only post because it doesn't sound like he has seriously considered the Eastern Market or H Street NE neighborhoods, both of which are very walkable. On H Street, Dangerously Delicious Pies is doing quite well, even if I think it is overrated. The Batter Bowl offspring of Ethiopic is not so great, and would be demolished by Furst. Of course, we already have Lyon Bakery at Union Market so there is already some quality competition here, but since H Street NE is growing vertically nowadays the market is growing. I heard Union Kitchen might also have some space nearby for permanent vendors?

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The key to a business like a bakery is that you need to utlize as much floor space as possible for product. My uncle had a bakery downtown (Clements) that eventually moved out to Hyattsville in order to do mass quantities. I remember going down to the location and thinking, wow, the storefront and retail space is so small, but then walking in the back and saying "oh, this is where the real operation happens."

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The key to a business like a bakery is that you need to utlize as much floor space as possible for product. My uncle had a bakery downtown (Clements) that eventually moved out to Hyattsville in order to do mass quantities. I remember going down to the location and thinking, wow, the storefront and retail space is so small, but then walking in the back and saying "oh, this is where the real operation happens."

Refer to Artisan Confections as an example. That's also why so many places truck in their wares that were made elsewhere (which I think is an excellent idea (although maybe not for Mark, who undoubtedly wants to be *right* *there*), and lends itself to delivery orders as well).

My guess is that most successful "DC bakeries" will have manufacturing facilities in the less-expensive burbs, small storefronts in DC, and do a lot of wholesale to restaurants. There's nothing wrong with this, and the only thing you're sacrificing is hot-from-the-oven wares, although they could even par-bake certain items to be finished at the storefronts. I do think it's important, in terms of reputation, that they allow visits and tours to their manufacturing facility, and perhaps offer retail there as well.

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The Trio of Tria restaurants in Philly have a small, prep kitchen warehouse in South Philly where they do 90% of the product there, then truck in the product to be finalized in the restaurants. If you have ever been to any of the places it follows the same mentality, not much room after chairs, tables and bar for a scale kicthen.

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I only post because it doesn't sound like he has seriously considered the Eastern Market or H Street NE neighborhoods, both of which are very walkable. On H Street, Dangerously Delicious Pies is doing quite well, even if I think it is overrated. The Batter Bowl offspring of Ethiopic is not so great, and would be demolished by Furst. Of course, we already have Lyon Bakery at Union Market so there is already some quality competition here, but since H Street NE is growing vertically nowadays the market is growing. I heard Union Kitchen might also have some space nearby for permanent vendors?

I wonder if the building that used to house The White Tiger at 3rd and Massachusetts NE could work. Pete's Apizza had been reported as considering it for a location, and last I heard decided against it. It gets a fair amount of foot traffic from people going to Union Station, the Capitol complex, etc., and is close by a few popular restaurants and businesses like Schneiders--plus it has a great patio. It could attract from the general Capitol Hill neighborhood without having immediate nearby competition from the businesses on Barracks Row, Eastern Market, H Street, etc.

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I wonder if the building that used to house The White Tiger at 3rd and Massachusetts NE could work. Pete's Apizza had been reported as considering it for a location, and last I heard decided against it. It gets a fair amount of foot traffic from people going to Union Station, the Capitol complex, etc., and is close by a few popular restaurants and businesses like Schneiders--plus it has a great patio. It could attract from the general Capitol Hill neighborhood without having immediate nearby competition from the businesses on Barracks Row, Eastern Market, H Street, etc.

That's a good suggestion. There are already four bread shops in or near Eastern Market (though I doubt any of them do any baking on site), so a different part of the Hill might be good.

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If you are willing to wait, BF Saul's new building in Van Ness (where they are knocking down the Office Depot and Pier One) could be perfect. 250+ upscale apartments, UDC and Howard Law students; lots of parking, and lots of rich neighbors. About 2 years away though.

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If you are willing to wait, BF Saul's new building in Van Ness (where they are knocking down the Office Depot and Pier One) could be perfect. 250+ upscale apartments, UDC and Howard Law students; lots of parking, and lots of rich neighbors. About 2 years away though.

Thank goodness...the current building has to make the short list for Top 10 ugliest buildings in DC.

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There are empty storefronts in Mount Pleasant, and someone could give Hellers a run for their money (no one in the area really likes Hellers, but it is the only option). The success of the newly opened beau Thai and the upcoming opening of a local foods provider in the Nana space show that the neighborhood is eager to support new, good places. The pent up demand is huge..... Plus, you are in a lower rent zone near several buses, the Columbia heights metro, and Adams Morgan.

Come to think of it, can he just buy Heller's?? PLEASE!

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If you are willing to wait, BF Saul's new building in Van Ness (where they are knocking down the Office Depot and Pier One) could be perfect. 250+ upscale apartments, UDC and Howard Law students; lots of parking, and lots of rich neighbors. About 2 years away though.

It would be great to get something like this near Van Ness. This board has long speculated how much life 925 Cafe has in it. That could be a nice location.

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I'm wondering if he checked out the street-level retail space under the AdMo Harris Teeter. That space has remained empty since the building was renovated the the HT opened.

while I would be blissfully happy about this, I think the space is likely too small, maybe 1200sf? It's a weird wedge. Otoh, they have almost finished out 40 loft apartments above the Harris Teeter (captive audience), the dorchester is about to add on several hundred units ( next door, construction starts next week I think), and the Teeter has some *truly* abysmal bread. Like, I've started trying to make my own out of desperation.

The other nice thing is that the Teeter has a reasonable amount of parking to supplement the foot traffic.

I keep fantasizing that a small tea and pastry shop would open there, but I suspect that Douglas wants way too much money for the space, and he never seems to care about leaving things vacant for decades...

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Come to Petworth.

The Upshur Street tiny business district would work. There's LOTS of unused space in the building above the Georgia Ave metro stop. I believe there's space in the row where 3 little pigs is.

There's also space over at 14th and Quincy/Spring.

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Come to the still-decrepit (but growing) strip of Lee Highway in Arlington between Spout Run and East Falls Church. That will put an end to you needing "walk-in traffic." Plenty of cars driving by, plenty of parking. I promise I'll come in three times a week for bread and coffee. You'll also be taking away business from Heidelberg which has "take a number" waits on weekends.

Or, if you want walk-in business, go to Clarendon - there's a reason why Leonora bakery is doing so well there, and there's plenty of business for the both of you. The rich get richer.

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It's a bakery so my guess is rent needs to be under 40 psf.

Needs parking. Yes retail needs parking

Needs daytime workers

Needs residential for weekends and holidays

In no particular order:

Spring valley

Dupont circle

cathedral commons (new giant food project macomb st)

Bethesda not Bethesda row. Old section

Pike and rose Rockville md

McLean

Fairfax corner

Potomac md

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Come to the still-decrepit (but growing) strip of Lee Highway in Arlington between Spout Run and East Falls Church. That will put an end to you needing "walk-in traffic." Plenty of cars driving by, plenty of parking. I promise I'll come in three times a week for bread and coffee. You'll also be taking away business from Heidelberg which has "take a number" waits on weekends.

Or, if you want walk-in business, go to Clarendon - there's a reason why Leonora bakery is doing so well there, and there's plenty of business for the both of you. The rich get richer.

I would agree whole heartedly with Don's sentiment. Something with legs and backbone would lift many of those business' in that stretch.

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I would agree whole heartedly with Don's sentiment. Something with legs and backbone would lift many of those business' in that stretch.

District Taco has paved the way for this - I would think that their rent is a fraction (less than 1/1) of what the restaurants in Lee-Harrison Shopping Center are paying (Pie-Tanza, Elevation Burger, Taqueria Poblano, Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, Starbucks (who probably got a break for being an anchor), Oriental Gourmet, and the satellites Baskin-Robbins and Ghin Na Rhee).

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It's a bakery so my guess is rent needs to be under 40 psf.

Needs parking. Yes retail needs parking

Needs daytime workers

Needs residential for weekends and holidays

In no particular order:

Spring valley

Dupont circle

cathedral commons (new giant food project macomb st)

Bethesda not Bethesda row. Old section

Pike and rose Rockville md

McLean

Fairfax corner

Potomac md

Ignoring the specific areas, if I were looking for a primer on locations.....thar she is ...up atop the list.

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Come to the still-decrepit (but growing) strip of Lee Highway in Arlington between Spout Run and East Falls Church. That will put an end to you needing "walk-in traffic." Plenty of cars driving by, plenty of parking. I promise I'll come in three times a week for bread and coffee. You'll also be taking away business from Heidelberg which has "take a number" waits on weekends.

Or, if you want walk-in business, go to Clarendon - there's a reason why Leonora bakery is doing so well there, and there's plenty of business for the both of you. The rich get richer.

I would agree whole heartedly with Don's sentiment. Something with legs and backbone would lift many of those business' in that stretch.

Agree wholeheartedly with both of these suggestions. As much as rents may be/may have been on Wilson, I read recently that Arlington County has been having trouble with filling all the retail spaces that have been required on the first floors of all of the new residential/commercial buildings and are considering allowing rezoning (cited example was Ballston old Bob Peck dealership location) for other uses. Perhaps the County would allow interested retail businesses to get a deal on rent now in the interest of preserving the first-floor-retail ideal?

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Perhaps the County would allow interested retail businesses to get a deal on rent now in the interest of preserving the first-floor-retail ideal?

I know that the county council has a Bloomberg like nanny streak, but I do not see how the county is disallowing interested businesses from getting deals from the property owners.

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I'd like to put in a plug for Upper Georgia Ave either on the DC side in Shepherd Park or in South Downtown Silver Spring. There's a couple vacant storefronts on both sides where Tropicana Restaurant and a T-mobile store used to be on the DC side and on the Maryland side there is the location where Mayorga Coffee used to be as well as Tortilla Coast which just closed a month or so ago.

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