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Entries in Bakeries (3)


Closed for Business: Leske's Bakery, 588 5th Avenue

Some sad news to report from the very southern end of the neighborhood: Leske's Bakery, which moved into the space on 5th Avenue between 16th and Prospect that has been home to a bakery for more than a hundred years last year, shut down on December 27th.

The bakery was a Bay Ridge import, and the original is renowned for its black and white cookies, donuts (especially the peanut butter and jelly), and Scandinavian treats like kringlers, bollers, and kransekake. It closed after 50 years in 2011, only to rise from the dead a year later in the original location under new ownership.

This spot was last home to Sweet Treasures Bakery (which Brooklyn Bread briefly shacked up with after closing), before that it was Three Star Bakery for many years, and the building has been home to a bakery basically since it was built. While there's no word yet on what's moving in (the bakery's owners placed a notice on the door saying that the closure was due to "rising costs"), Leske's hopefully will be re-opening somewhere in the neighborhood; they're currently "evaluating."


Open for Business: Du Jour Bakery, 365 Fifth Avenue

Du Jour Bakery opened yesterday in the space last occupied by Perch Cafe, on Fifth Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Run by the husband-and-wife duo of TJ and Vera Obias, it's chock full of sweets, pastries, and baked goods both sweet and savory, and it's clear from a visit during their soft-opening party on Sunday that there's some major talent at work here. 

Owners TJ and Vera are at left

First, the space. There's a lot of seating available but also a full display case showcasing TJ and Vera's creations, and the room is simply appointed with exposed brick walls, dark wood floors, wooden tables, and a marble counter. There's a well-lit, sunny vibe, and it comes across as an ideal place to while away some time over a cup of coffee.

But I wouldn't advise sticking with just the coffee. The breakfast menu is loaded with delicious-sounding baked goods, all made in-house: croissants, cinnamon buns, everything pretzels, ham-and-cheese brioche (above), Quiche Lorraine, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and for dessert there's almond bread pudding (below, which was also on the dessert menu at Dovetail), creme brulee, cheesecake, and banana pudding. There are also cheddar chive biscuits and Hawaiian buns, on the menu at Pork Slope and Talde, respectively (the chefs are good friends with Dale). A full menu of composed brunch and dinner dishes will soon be rolled out as well. 

As is probably clear by now, TJ and Vera aren't just bakers, they're full-blown pastry chefs, with sparkling resumes. TJ's logged time at Dovetail, Morimoto, Gordon Ramsay at The London, and Cafe Gray, and Vera earled her stripes at The Russian Tea Room and Buddakan, where she met Dale (who introduced her to TJ). They'd never worked together before now, and TJ is handling the savories while Vera handles the sweets, which also include custom cakes and pies. 

According to their website, the goal of Du Jour is to "showcase their love of food and all things sweet." We're pretty lucky that they decided to do it in our neck of the woods. 

Du Jour Bakery, 365 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 347-227-8953.


Friday Foodporn: Blue Sky Bakery

Blue Sky Bakery, on Fifth Avenue between St. Marks and Bergen, may appear to be a mystery to those who have only walked past it after 2 PM. The reason? They're only open until then, opening up at 7:30 during the week and 8:30 during the weekends, but they happen to do breakfast treats better than just about anyone else around.

Owner Erik Goetze, a former advertising art director, decided to change his life around after a trip to Nepal and a winter in Telluride. He opened up the small bakery in 2003, and it's blossomed into a go-to spot for the $3 muffin and coffee special, croissants, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, savory stuffed puff pastry, and even homemade doggy treats. 

And those muffins? To die for. Creative flavors like blueberry banana bran, pumpkin apple walnut, carrot blueberry cream cheese, and wild blueberry have attaacted a wildly devoted fan base, and they're currently being sold wholesale to over 25 local restaurants and merchants throughout the city. 

The baked goods are all-natural, and a traditional approach to wholesome, traditional pastries and muffins has kept the shop selling out its wares every day by 2 PM. 

Blue Sky Bakery, 53 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-783-4123.