MarieBette expands its operations

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MarieBette Café and Bakery’s new oven allows head baker Hilary Salmon and her staff to bake three times as many baguettes an hour. Photo courtesy of Natalie Jacobson. MarieBette Café and Bakery’s new oven allows head baker Hilary Salmon and her staff to bake three times as many baguettes an hour. Photo courtesy of Natalie Jacobson.

MarieBette Café & Bakery has expanded its baking operations into a new building about a block away from the French café at 700 Rose Hill Dr. The satellite space has brand-new equipment, such as a gigantic four-deck oven that’s double the size of the one in the original bakery.

The bakery upgraded almost all its machinery to keep up with the oven, so the new space is home to gadgets galore.

“So basically, it triples our baking capacity,” says owner Patrick Evans of the expansion. The bakery upgraded almost all its machinery to keep up with the oven, so the new space is home to gadgets galore. There’s a bigger walk-in refrigerator, a larger mixer, a machine that specifically cuts and shapes rolls and a retarder/proofer that starts cold and heats up overnight, allowing pastries to go in the oven first thing in the morning. But the oven is the star of the show; instead of only being able to bake about 50 baguettes an hour, it can bake three times that many.

Evans says MarieBette will expand its offerings to include goodies for events such as weddings, plus different-sized breads and more rolls for restaurants. He also has more room to test new recipes, because the original bakery will continue regular operations.

“Everything there stays the same, and this has enabled us to explore new recipes and expand our wholesale; that was the main goal,” Evans says.

Cardamom closing

After a tumultuous ride since opening at the beginning of the year, Cardamom will close its doors in York Place June 30.

Owner Lu-Mei Chang says a new eatery will take over the space in July. Her Vietnamese restaurant has endured ups and downs, including offers to buy the space, and social media backlash for a pho pop-up menu, and Chang says this is the right time to hand the keys over. The new buyers had been eyeing the space since she opened, Chang says.

“It’s too big for me to operate,” she adds. “The timing was perfect.”

Even though the restaurant was not an official vegetarian or vegan restaurant, Chang received critical comments on social media for her decision to add meat to the menu after opening.

“This is no fun for me,” she says. “It’s time to go.”

Chang has no plans to open another restaurant in the near future, especially because the market is so competitive: “I might, but I don’t know. I don’t want to think about that now.” —Alexa Nash

Eater’s digest

Keep your eyes peeled for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opening at 5th Street Station in late July. It’s said to be 33,000 square feet of in-theater dining, drinks and upgraded seating, with one of the first Alamo Drafthouse Cinema premium large-format screens in the country.

On June 20, the Board of Architectural Review approved the building of a rooftop bar at Oakhart Social, located at 511 W. Main St. Owner Ben Clore says they plan to add a rooftop dining area, bar and additional kitchen. —Erin O’Hare

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