No Grand Central; owners plan something very similar for Heights location

27 May

This post offers a bit of a clarification, a bit closer to the source, about plans for a new bakery on the Heights at the corner of Pine and 12th, where Ernie’s Lock & Key used to be.

Billy Sullivan is tearing down the former service station there, and plans to build two 4,000-square-foot buildings there. He mentioned when we spoke last week that Grand Central Bakery would be opening a store there.

Not really. But close. The family behind the original Grand Central has very strong interest in opening a similar style bakery, under a different name, at that location. So says Megan Davis of Hood River, daughter of Gwen Bassetti, founder of The Bakery in Seattle, which was followed in 1989 by the Grand Central brand.

Megan Davis says she would be the operating manager of the Hood River bakery. It has no name yet, but they’ve considered calling it The Bakery, in homage to Mom’s original effort back in 1973. She and siblings Ben, Piper and Sam, plus their mother, have talked about collectively launching the Hood River shop.

“We don’t plan on having a hearth oven,” Davis says. “It’s expensive, requires a lot of volume, and takes up a lot of space. We don’t plan to do artisan breads. It will be handmade breads, the kind you bake in pans. It’ll be more of a cafe, with rustic pastries. As my sister calls it, ‘the rustic veil.’ In other words, no eclairs.”

How soon? Hard to say. Much depends on the family’s ability to work through concerns related to the city’s development code, and its requirements for employee parking spaces, or fees in lieu of actual spaces so the city could develop the parking. It’s been a barrier to redevelopment of Bob Carnahan’s Waucoma Hotel building at 2nd and Cascade, and Pasquale Barone’s Union Building on Industrial Street.

Based on recent meetings with city officials, Davis is optimistic that the project will happen. She’s excited, too, to be part of the neighborhood, and helping bring some new energy to the Heights.

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