Post navigation

Prev: (04/21/13) | Next: (04/22/13)

Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill opens where challenge became opportunity at 15th & John

Chef Leaman inside the new Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Chef Leaman inside the new Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Highly anticipated since CHS first broke the news last November about its plans, Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill is ready to serve its first batches of flaky, buttery croissant at 15th and John.

“We’re preparing like it’s a regular day in West Seattle,” William Leaman said Sunday as he and his crew put the finishing touches on the space and got to work baking and making in anticipation of the Monday morning opening. You can be there at 8 AM to try to be first. But there’s no rush. Bakery Nouveau’s pastries, chocolates, sandwiches and treats untold are here to stay.

The kitchen is abuzz behind the curtain (Image: CHS)

The kitchen is abuzz behind the curtain (Image: CHS)

The opening comes some six months after Leaman first began working on the plans to create his new bakery in one of the most challenging retail spaces on Capitol Hill. We talked to him again in late January as the logistics of making Bakery Nouveau work at 15th and John were finally hammered out.

Williams Place Park doesn't know what just hit it (Image: CHS)

Williams Place Park doesn’t know what just hit it (Image: CHS)

Figuring out how to properly vent a space not originally built to be vented and bake in a space not originally built to be baked in gave Leaman challenges that, with good fortune and a talented architect, led to opportunities. Leaman said the result is a bakery and kitchen that gives him a better working environment than he could have envisioned without the space’s challenges.

“It’s more open as a result and easier for me to see everything and see where I can help,” the award-winning pastry chef said.

CHS took one home. We photographed it. We ate it. We wanted another. (Image: CHS)

CHS took one home. We photographed it. We ate it. We wanted another. (Image: CHS)

Leaman said chocolate and candy production for all of Nouveau is moving to the new Capitol Hill kitchen. His Capitol Hill venture will now employ 20 people. The production area is viewable — through a set of curtains that will mostly stay open, Leaman’s wife and Nouvea manager Heather Leaman said as she held them back for CHS to get a sneak peek — behind the giant display counter that runs the length of the bakery’s entrance and seating area. The back corner houses the espresso bar powered by a Slayer machine — one of only a small handful operating in the state, chef Leaman proudly noted. There are tables for those who can linger. In summer, the now-less-neglected Williams Place Park will offer more space to enjoy a sandwich.

[mappress mapid=”42″]Leaman’s croisants and pastries have become known as some of the best in the city since he founded the first Nouveau six years ago in West Seattle. The Seattle Times last week said you should be excited about Leaman’s “incomparable twice-baked almond croissants and gorgeously crusty baguettes.” On Capitol Hill, “the focus will be more patisserie — over the top cakes, candies, kick-ass sandwiches — more four-star dining between two pieces of bread,” Leaman told us earlier.

Sunday, he said that’s still the plan. Monday’s more casual 8 o’clock start time will lead into regular hours that mirror the West Seattle original: 6a-7p, Monday to Thursday, 6a-9p on Fridays, 7a-9p on Saturdays and 7a-7p on Sundays. It’s possible Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill could eventually stay open later, the Leamans said. But first they have to get to know the new neighborhood. Given the anticipation, we’re guessing that won’t take long to accomplish.

You can learn more at bakerynouveau.com.

This will be full before you empty it (Image: CHS)

This will be full before you empty it (Image: CHS)

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

17 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sherry
Sherry
7 years ago

I love my ‘hood!! Cannot wait to check this out

CapHill Native, really
CapHill Native, really
7 years ago

The wait is finally over. I work regularly in west seattle and when i do a visit to the bakery is always in order. For lunch go for the turkey/havarti or tuna salad sandwich. Everything they do there is AWESOME!! You can’t go wrong!

Aaron
Aaron
7 years ago

Went this morning. Just as delicious as the West Seattle location and now just 3 blocks from me. It’s a nice sized space as well. Here’s hoping they do good business for many years and help to transform that stretch of 15th.

Paul on Bellevue
Paul on Bellevue
7 years ago

I lived in WS for three years before moving back to the Hill last year, and paid many visits to Nouveau during my time over there. Our neighborhood is in for a treat.

sojohnative
sojohnative
7 years ago

I skipped breakfast, went for a long walk and met a fellow local there for what turned out to be a kind of love fest of tasty treats, super friendly staff and meeting of new friends.
So nice to have a vital, happy space in the corner that opens to”Williams Place Park” one of my favorite spots on the Hill (that I remember toddling in, many decades ago) in all a very nice experience.

Dolores Immel
Dolores Immel
7 years ago

Congratulations William!! I can hardly wait to visit your new bakery. Laura and Nichole’s Grandma.

King
King
7 years ago

A very very bad day to start a low carb diet in this neighborhood.

B
B
7 years ago

Stopped in this morning, bought my breakfast and my lunch (to go). This is a great addition to the neighborhood.

Julie
Julie
7 years ago

Twice-baked croissants are to die for, promise.

trackback

[…] some, win some. Capitol Hill got its much deserved Bakery Nouveau this week. Here’s a look inside. Capitol Hill played it cool for the Monday debut. By Tuesday morning, there was a steady […]

trackback

[…] some, win some. Capitol Hill got its much deserved Bakery Nouveau this week. Here’s a look inside. Capitol Hill played it cool for the Monday debut. By Tuesday morning, there was a steady […]

trackback

[…] are now — again — ice cream shops on Capitol Hill. They asked for bakeries. They got more bakeries. And CHS readers — and others around Capitol Hill — have asked and asked and asked for […]

trackback

[…] new businesses and new development coming to 15th Ave, there’s another mixed-use project underway in the […]

trackback

[…] Nouveau was able to navigate DPD and the rest to put one of the “most challenged” retail spaces on the Hill to use. Others haven’t been as lucky (Image: rupeegroupie via […]

Janet
Janet
7 years ago

Oh…thank you. I just had a breakfast croissant and it was out of this world! I’ll be making this place a regular habit.

trackback

[…] Ines will be the third pastry shop to come to the neighborhood in the past year, with Crumble and Flake opening last year, and Bakery Nouveau’s opening in April. […]

trackback

[…] year. Meanwhile, the bakery ranks of the neighborhood have already been massively strengthened with the addition of Bakery Nouveau’s Capitol Hill location earlier this […]