The prime real estate left empty early this year by Rustico's won't remain dormant long. As soon as May, the space in the Essex Shoppes & Cinema outlet will be home to a new bakery and café.
According to Arnd Sievers, director of food and beverage at the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa, construction has already begun on the Essex Bake & Coffee Shop.
He and the Essex's executive chef, Shawn Calley, will oversee the new restaurant, which will be open for breakfast and lunch. Croissants, danish and quiche will be among the morning offerings. At lunch, Sievers says the shop will serve sandwiches on homemade sourdough bread, along with soups.
Espressos, lattes and cappuccinos will likely attract a grown-up café crowd, but there's something special for younger folk, too: A creemee machine that will extrude soft ice cream year round.
The bakeshop will close in the late afternoon to prepare for evening cooking classes. Sievers says he hopes the spot will host classes on subjects including artisan bread making and cupcakes, at least three times a week, but would be willing to hold them every day if the demand arises. Sievers thinks it might — daily classes at the resort regularly fill up. A small market selling high-end kitchen tools will help students replicate their handiwork at home.
Sievers and Calley are currently interviewing pastry chefs to staff the Essex Bake & Coffee Shop. It's a big job: The new location will also serve as a retail bakery, making birthday and special-occasion pastries and even wedding cakes. Things are about to get sweeter in Essex.