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UPDATED: Bayou Bakery Hopes to Open Thursday

by ARLnow.com November 16, 2010 at 10:04 am 5,763 27 Comments

Update at 6:40 p.m. — Bayou Bakery is experiencing a delay in getting its Certificate of Occupancy, according to spokesperson Simone Rathle. That may force the hoped-for Thursday opening to be pushed back.

If the food and coffee at David Guas’ new Bayou Bakery taste half as good as the place looks, the bakery may very well be on track to being Courthouse’s favorite hang out.

The elaborately-decorated, Louisiana-themed cafe is expected to open at some point on Thursday, according to Guas. An exact opening time hasn’t been chosen, but the doors could be unlocked as early as 7:00 a.m.

Guas isn’t thrilled with comparisons to Northside Social — the Clarendon cafe was originally supposed to be Bayou Bakery before a disagreement between Guas and his business partners prompted them to open as Northside instead — but Bayou Bakery has the same general business plan: coffee, beer, wine and food in a comfortable, social environment.

What sets Bayou Bakery apart is the focus on the Louisiana theme. Guas, who was born and raised in New Orleans, has filled the space with music, art and knick-knacks that give Bayou Bakery an unmistakable and authentic sense of place. And if the aesthetics don’t let you escape the neighborhood’s urban, workaday surroundings for just a moment, the menu is sure to do the job.

Beignets, gumbo, Andouille sausage, chilled Gulf shrimp, spiced pecans — and even a salty caramel popcorn mixed with pieces of bacon — all promise to satisfy discerning Cajun palates. Localists will be heartened to know that despite the cafe’s Louisiana theme, many of the ingredients will be locally-sourced.

The food menu is more extensive than Northside, but the coffee program is much the same. Guas said it was his intention to serve Counter Culture coffee from the beginning, and he’s not letting Northside’s devotion to Counter Culture change his admiration for the company and its product. One unique twist will be Bayou Bakery’s French-pressed chicory coffee, which is blended in-house using a custom Counter Culture roast and imported chicory.

Bayou Bakery will initially feature one draft beer — Abita Amber, naturally — and six bottled beers, including four other varieties of Abita. There will be eight wines by the glass, including an ice wine.

Guas, a big fan of root beer, will start with three different varieties. He plans to eventually serve eight to ten types of root beer. Luzianne sweet tea, homemade lemonade, Trickling Springs milk, Boyland’s Vintage Soda, and Virginia-bottled Aquava mineral water are also on the drink menu.

Bayou Bakery is expected to get its certificate of occupancy today, the last regulatory step before opening. Guas says the cafe, which includes a comfy lounge with a flat-screen TV, should seat about 60. This spring, the bakery plans to open a sidewalk cafe with seating for another 30.

Bayou Bakery is located at 1515 North Courthouse Road, in the old Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe space. Former Camille’s customers may notice that the floor, chairs and general layout are the same. When Camille’s closed, the owners abandoned the lease and left everything inside for the landlord, which offered it to whomever wanted to take over the lease. Guas says he did his best to reuse Camille’s items, where possible.

Free WiFi will be available at the store, but Guas didn’t install electrical outlets for customers’ laptops. Bayou Bakery is not intended to be an internet cafe, he said.

Bayou Bakery’s web site is not up yet, but the store can be reached by phone: 703-243-2410.

  • RosslynHeightsformerResident


    • Thes


    • NorthAdams

      Can’t wait. Favorite city. Favorite food. All in walking distance!!!

  • KalashniKEV

    I’m so pumped for this place!

    I lived in NOLA for 4 years before the storm and can’t wait to check out EVERYTHING on the menu! Abita on tap a block away from my house… amazing!

    I also am not really down with Northside after my last visit- it was early on a a weeknight and they had a packed lower portion and a totally empty upper portion due to some non-attended wine event. They told me I couldn’t read my book in there, so I had to take it outside and freeze.

    This place looks 100% my style and much more comfortable!

  • Chad

    Tell me they’ll have Lucky Dogs late night!!! Please oh please oh please!!!

    • They’ll be open until 10:30 p.m., at least at first. Guas says he’s “not trying to be the Irish pub down the street.”

  • SoCo Resident

    This is very interesting and exciting. Best wishes to Bayou!! A wonderful boost to the Courthouse area and the South of Courthouse, SoCo, neighborhood.

    —-“SoCo” the triangle bounded by 10th St, Wash&Arl blvds. —-

    • AllenB

      1) “SoCo” is dumb. Please don’t say that.
      2) Bayou will be several blocks outside of those boundaries.

      • SoCo Resident

        SoCo is a but a few blocks stroll in the morning for beignets and coffee at the Bayou Bakery. Welcome Bayou!!!

        —SoCo the triangle bounded by 10th St, Wash&Arl blvds. —

        • KalashniKEV

          Is that a sig line you manually paste into all your posts? It really is dumb… and not even such a great location.

          It’s touching Courthouse… so why even mention that silly name? (I won’t even type it!)

          • Jezebel

            I always call that neighborhood WTF — i.e., West of The Fort (Myer)

        • Lala

          A stroll? WTF are you talking about? How exactly do you stroll to Bayou from Ft. Myer? Um, let’s see walk out onto Rt. 50 and dodge traffic to walk up to Courthouse? Good one, LoCo!

          • SoCo Resident

            From the South of Courthouse, SoCo, neighborhood, there is a sidewalk directly to the street on which the wonderful new Bayou Bakery is located. And, there are other routes.

            —SoCo, the neighborhood in the triangle of N. 10th, Wash&Arl blvds.—

          • AllenB

            Hmmm…. this “soco” stuff reminds me of when the Gaithersburg folks renamed their neighborhood “North Potomac”. Doesn’t matter what you call it, it was still South Gaitherburg trash.

  • WELCOME to the neighborhood! Any place with a chalkboard menu posted is good with me!

  • Greg Phelps

    My wife is soooo excited about this place. Therefore by default, I am too.

  • Modwop

    If I can stagger in on a Sunday morning and get a chicory coffee and a Benton’s bacon biscuit…well my head just might explode. Hope Mr. Guas is prepared for a huge turnout on the first weekend after opening! Can’t wait.

    • At least at first, Bayou Bakery won’t be open on Sundays. Eventually, they’ll open for Sunday brunch.

  • MikeyinCrystalC

    I hope the beignets are served all day!

  • Hey you got any jockamo, sha?

  • Jewelyn

    So excited for this! I’ve been wanting an easy place to go to get the New Orleans food I miss so much. It only makes it better Bayou will be 2 blocks from where I live! Can’t wait to try it out! Chicory coffee and beignets make any day better!

  • Jamie

    Awesome! Love me some Purple Haze and beignets!

  • Kat

    HOOOOORAY! As a NOLA native, I will get my butt up there from S. Arlington this weekend for some Sunday beignets!

  • KalashniKEV

    Damn… I just went there and now it looks like the County is messing with them… hope some lazy slacker processes their permit soon!

  • Jackie

    Is it open yet?

    • Not yet. They have their Certificate of Occupancy but Bayou’s Facebook page says it’s still several days away from opening.

  • Bob V

    I tried it for lunch. It was just okay. Sad because this area has a dearth of good eating places.


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