Pastry chef Antonio Bachour is opening a bakery, café, and academy in downtown Coral Gables.
Just a few months after stepping away from his partnership at Brickell's B Bistro + Bakery (formerly known as Bachour Bakery + Bistro), the chef and author has struck a deal with Codina Partners to anchor their mixed-use office, residential, and retail project at 2020 Salzedo St.
The 5,200-square-foot operation, simply called Bachour, will include a 60-seat café with outdoor seating for an additional 40, a walk-up bakery counter, and a baking academy.
According to Bachour partner Javier Ramirez, it will open some time in spring of 2018. "We signed the lease about a month ago and it usually takes about a year to open from that point. We took our time dreaming up how this place is going to be designed: the location of the kitchen, the back of the house, the academy. We're there."
Ramirez says that there were no actual plans to open a bakery, but Armando Codina, executive chairman of Codina Partners, made them an offer they couldn't refuse. "The real reason is the landlord. Armando [Codina] is one of the most important real estate professionals in Miami. We developed a relationship with him and he took us to the building and showed us the space and asked if we would consider opening Bachour here. It was like an honor to be an anchor for his project."
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Though the menu hasn't been fully developed, Ramirez says the focus will be on breakfast, lunch, and brunch items like soups, croissants, and sandwiches. "The offerings will be similar to the great bakeries of the country, like San Francisco's Tartine Manufactory. Antonio is known for his pastries, but he is a chef nonetheless. Everything will come from his direction. We want to create a place where everyone in the Gables is drawn for those two meals."
A key ingredient of the project will be the academy. Currently, the in-demand pastry chef spends a good part of the year traveling the globe to teach advanced classes. Says Ramirez of the chef who was out of the country yesterday, "Different chefs choose different routes. Antonio has chosen a route that is half pastry chef and half teacher. Traveling around the world as he does is quite taxing." With a Miami academy, Bachour could spend as much as 75 percent of his time back home with friends and family.
Ramirez notes he has every confidence that the Gables location will be successful. "Antonio is a true professional and extremely committed. He has an infinite Rolodex of people who want to work for him and learn from him. We have a strong relationship, and I was willing to follow him anywhere. "