Frenchette will revive a bakery in the Arcade space

C. first heard a rumor weeks ago that something was going on at the former Arcade Bakery; then K. told me she smelled something delicious while dropping her kid off at Elite in the building. And B. had the ultimate tip.

The owners of Frenchette — Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson — have taken the lease at the arcade in 220 Church and will reopen a bakery in that jewel of a space next week, aiming for early October. This is, of course, very exciting news and the Frenchette team might be one of the few who could truly honor Arcade Bakery. The scent of croissants baking again in that corridor — I can say this first hand as of yesterday — was a true sign of hope.

Arcade owner Roger Gural broke everyone’s hearts — and created lines out the door for a couple weeks — when he announced last summer that he would close his acclaimed bakery on August 2. (I got no fewer than 23 emails asking for his info to see if the business was for sale.) He opened the bakery here in 2014, having come from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, Calif., where he made the bread for the French Laundry.

His baked goods were admired citywide and beyond, and the Frenchette chefs were among the fans. They served his baguettes and pastries as soon as they opened on West Broadway in April 2018. So there’s some wonderful symmetry at work here. Much more to come when they are open.




  1. Yes, superb. Hope they bring on Roger as a consultant. He was one of the best parts of the NYC mosaic. So sad what’s happening now. Everyone is leaving. Back to the 1970’s. Utterly predictable consequence of Deblasio and the progressives. So sad. Just hope people can learn.

    • Yo Lowrider, three points. First, I don’t think we should necessarily blame Progressives. I believe DeBalz is his own uniquely unqualified politician completely incapable of governing a complex city like NYC. I’m not “Progressive”, I just believe DeBlaz couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. Useless, much like Trump, just the opposite end of the political spectrum. Second, we have only ourselves to blame. Only 24% of us turned out to vote the first time (’13) and 27% the second time (’17). Third and lastly, wasn’t that bakery damn good? I hope Roger re-appears in our hood.

      • I do think lowrider makes a point that a self-described progressive like diBlasio has been bad for nyc. That could be just because he is bad or to some extent because progressive politics and culture have gone too far.

        In either case, the next mayoral candidates run the gamut from somewhat progessive to highly progressive. I am concerned that policies which drive up taxes, cause people to leave the city, which then creates budget problems depressing the quality of life becomes a cycle.

        I would like to see a centrist candidate with a business friendly mindset a la bloomberg take control. The current situation is very serious.

    • De Blasio this De Blasio that.

      So vote.

      Run for mayor yourself.

      This city is the best it’s ever been. Never been prouder.

      Problems can and should be solved.

      Gotta say while I don’t like why they emerged I LOVE the curbside dining areas – make them permanent say April through October.

  2. This is the best news of the entire week (perhaps of the entire last six months)!

    And Mr. Dooley, completely agree with you on all three points. Particularly #2. VOTE people!!

  3. Thanks, James. I was going to respond last night but just felt weary making the same old points.

    I am a progressive, and I hate BdB for the reasons you outline above. And if people like Lowrider actually think BdB is a progressive and governs like one, well that gives us a bad name.

    I also like facts: Roger sadly closed Arcade because of personal reasons, not because of the ‘bad old 70s’. If by those comments you are referring to some people leaving now (I repeat: some, many of whom were already planning to decamp … I know some), should we not also consider the elephant in the room? (Which is not BdB, despite his size.) It’s disingenuous not to.

    But we can agree that Roger is fantastic and his involvement in any way would be wonderful.