Nearly two years after it changed the landscape of Seattle’s airport dining, Cafe Flora is planning another sibling establishment. Owner Nat Stratton-Clarke says The Flora Bakehouse will open next year on Beacon Hill’s western slope, near Grover Cleveland High School.
This past summer, Stratton-Clarke moved his two restaurant pastry teams into a single space at 1511 S Lucile St. This commissary kitchen produces the baked goods for his vegetarian and vegan landmark in Madison Valley, as well as Floret, which expands that inclusive dining mission to Sea-Tac. “We realized very quickly, we had so many neighbors knocking on our door every day,” he recalls. “We decided, let’s open a little cafe with coffee, pastries, and some lunchy bits” as part of the building.
The cafe will be a welcome anchor in an area that could use one, selling Cafe Flora’s famed vegan cinnamon rolls alongside breakfast sandwiches, quiches, and a mix of pastries, from traditional buttery croissants to an impressive vegan–gluten free brownie. The Bakehouse will also serve some Floret favorites that currently require a plane ticket to access, says Stratton-Clarke, like the hummingbird muffins and chocolate and sea salt croissants. Plus espresso, naturally.
Designer Sara Knowles will fashion a space full of natural light, plants, and "cozy floral touches." Knowles is the aesthetic brain behind Floret, not to mention a little Beacon Hill spot called Homer that just happens to be our Restaurant of the Year (she's also co-owner), so you best believe any wallpaper selections will be on point. Upstairs from the cafe, Stratton-Clarke plans a space for private parties and cooking classes in a second-story space with views of Mount Rainier. The new-ish commissary kitchen also opens up new possibilities; once a new Bongard oven arrives from Italy, the Bakehouse will launch an in-house bread program for both Flora and Floret.
Stratton-Clarke says Flora Bakehouse will arrive this spring. This month, however, it will put on a pie popup as part of a Thanksgiving night market happening in Cafe Flora's atrium on Tuesday, November 26 from 3–7. The Bakehouse will sell vegan and gluten free pumpkin, apple streusel, and mocha pecan pie, alongside vendors like Steel Wheel Farm, Sea Wolf, Fortunate Orchard flowers, and potter Karra Wise.