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Fais de beaux rêves, Joe Bar — The French Guys are moving in

Chausson aux pomme (Image: The French Guys)

Seattle’s “first mobile French bakery” will have a place to park on Capitol Hill. The French Guys are making plans for a new cafe and bakery shop in the former Joe Bar.

Thibault Beaugendre tells CHS he hopes to continue the sense of comfort and peace that Joe Bar brought to E Roy for 25 years while investing in repairs and upgrades to the old cafe space.

The charming touches like the mezzanine seating will stay, Beaugendre says, and you will still be able to swing through for a coffee but the new life for the old space in the Loveless Building will also include fresh-baked breads, buttery pastries, and the class and comfort of a French cafe.

CHS reported here in October on the closure of Joe Bar as owner Wiley Bush said he could not come to an agreement on a new lease and upgrades to the cafe with the building’s longtime owner. Bush tells CHS he wishes the small business taking over the space the best.

When word spread that “The French Guys” were moving into the former Joe Bar, some CHS talked with thought it was really just a couple of “French guys” and didn’t realize it was the mobile bakery business that has become a regular at area farmers markets.

They weren’t necessarily wrong. Beaugendre met his fellow countryman and business partner in Seattle after life had brought both here to the States. In French cool fashion, they met on the ski slope and have built The French Guys together. The partner is the baker. Beaugendre? Well, he does everything else including now setting out on a mission to learn more about coffee and how their new cafe can do its best to live up to the Joe Bar legacy.

Still, Beaugendre says the new cafe will likely put croissants above caffeine when it comes to priorities. It will also be a daytime venue with morning to afternoon hours.

(Image: Joe Bar)

After growing through nearly daily farmers markets, delivery, and a partnership with with La Parisienne, The French Guys landed on the E Roy space after a search in neighborhoods across the city they felt had the right environment for business success that were also areas where they liked to hang out. Being just off Broadway is also relatively convenient for the fresh deliveries that will travel I-5 from the commercial kitchen where they bake all night long.

On Capitol Hill, The French Guys will join Bakery Nouveau in the French pastry game — its 2013 expansion to the Hill was complicated by its search for a space where it could do baking on site. Little Crumble and Flake, meanwhile, marked ten years on E Olive Way this year.

For now, Beaugendre is still sorting out decisions like a color palette as work takes shape to overhaul the space for its new life as a French bakery shop and cafe. The plan is to be ready for an opening in March.

The French Guys will open in 2023 at 810 E Roy. Learn more at


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18 days ago

Yum! Will they still be at the farmers’ markets? I look forward to feeding my canelé addiction at any time, but not on that end of the Hill much these days.

17 days ago

Nothing can replace Joe Bar, but I’m happy it’s some local bakers and not a froyo chain or something. I’ll buy a croissant, but I’ll cry.