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Grassroots Bakery space to remain a Bakery from the Owner nearby of Bacio Pizzeria?

by Prince Of Petworth January 24, 2017 at 10:10 am 35 Comments

bakery baccio bloomingdale
104 Rhode Island Ave, NW

When we heard about Grassroots closing in December, neighborhood folks were seriously bummed to be losing their bakery. In late December I heard that bagels could be in Bloomingdale’s future at this space. Now another reader hears that the folks who plan on taking over the bakery are non other than the folks behind Bacio Pizzeria. They hear the plans are to keep it a bakery/cafe. Updates when confirmation is made/more is known.

  • Truxton Thomas

    Interested—very interested.

  • obvious

    1. get rid of the horrible signage.
    2. push the counter much further back (adding seating).
    3. add patio seating (if you haven’t or haven’t tried already to get the permits – but all your neighbors have).
    4. get beer/wine license.
    5. drop the cake business (unless you can do wild catering/wedding sales)

    • I’m pretty sure 2, 3, and 4 will happen.

    • jkauf23

      For your first point, the only thing they might do is change the sign to their actual name. I like the uniformity of all the signs on that block.

      • obvious

        myself, I find the aesthetic of the signage on this building front (all of them) very much a turn off. it’s just marketing. if it doesn’t look good on the outside, why would it be good on the inside? contrary to ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it does matter. that said, Boundary Stone is and Grassroots was great. just think they’d do or have done better with better signage.

        • Anonamom

          They may not be able to change the signage to something unique. Some building leases require uniform signage.

          • obvious

            everything is negotiable, regardless of any in place contract. better signage = more tenant revenue = more leverage for the landlord to charge more later. of course, maybe it’s some BS ANC thing.

        • Anon

          cool story bro

    • jkauf23

      Your opinion of the signage does not mean that others don’t think the signage is kind of cool. I really don’t think the signage is what made Grassroots close.

      • obvious

        More slowly, “myself, I find the aesthetic of the signage on this building front (all of them) very much a turn off ” … Hence, THAT’s MY OPINION Also, my opinion is that if you liked that signage you have bad taste. As for why they closed, I’m guessing they couldn’t pay their bills (i.e., labor, COGS, rent, utilities, etc.) and that was because they couldn’t enough draw customers – in part due to poor marketing, product, wastage, management, and signage.

        • Anon

          obvious is clearly talking out of his ass. Grassroots didn’t close due to a lack of business.

          • obvious

            sure, could have been any number of reasons – separate, or in addition to those I listed above. maybe a personal/family issue, maybe just sick of it, maybe wanted to make more money than they were. clearly, a non-exhaustive list. but CLEARLY anon knows the reason. SO anon, what was the reason? was it because they had SO much business and were making TOO much money?

          • Anon

            Haha, something tells me you got a business degree from state

      • houseintherear

        For goodness sake. The Grassroots owner explained publicly that she and her fiance are planning to start a family and it’s not really possible when you own your own business. She sold the business, she didn’t go out of business.

        • DF

          What? Owners of restaurants can have kids/a family? I work for one who has two kids but what do I know.

          • Caiticlaire

            Maybe more “implausible” than “not really possible,” says this parent of two/partner of a restaurant owner in DC.

            Which makes me want to say good on you, Dan, for essentially running a small business with kids?

  • bdale homie


    In all seriousness, it continuously astounds me the lack of bagel joints in DC. Lines are out the door at the few decent ones around, and they are not terribly difficult or expensive to make. New England/NJ/NY/PA shows this.

    • obvious

      sounds like a great business opportunity for you. can’t wait to hear about your launch plans.

      • bdale homie

        so bud, your objective here just to try to piss off as many people as you can?

        • Anon

          Yea, sounds like he picked the wrong neighborhood

        • Obvious

          BUSTED! damn, you got me. and all this time i thought i was just trying to do my part to dispel the illusion of how great and easy it is to have a bakery and bagel shop on every corner. call me whatever names you wish, but reality is reality. OR how about you open a bagel shop or bakery. Otherwise … well, cry yourself to sleep over Grassroots. night night “bud”.

          • Anon

            Hahahahaha, please keep going. This is hilarious.

          • bdale homie

            I never said it was easy, but I also wouldn’t say it’s any more difficult than attempting to own a cafe of sorts, where there’s much more direct competition.
            Regardless, you’re taking this all way too seriously.

          • Anon

            “Blog so hard muh’fuckas wanna fine me”

    • dsb

      Absolutely agree on the bagels.

    • Truxton Thomas

      I’d take a Bethesda Bagels East.

      • Leeran

        Opening in Navy Yard soon!

        • Truxton Thomas

          I forgot about that! But I want one in MY neighborhood–waaah!

    • bagelboy

      New England does not have great bagels.

  • houseintherear

    Wooo we can finally break the silence! Last I heard from the Bacio owner, Attila, they were working on signing the lease. He mentioned sandwiches, bagels from a nearby bakery, stuff from Uncle Chips, starting out with regular coffee and perhaps getting fancier coffee options. Some indoor seating and lots of outdoor seating. So exciting!

    • JMR

      Great news!

  • snl

    I agree, more seating inside and outside and please beautify that tree box! Also, would love to see healthy baked options including vegan, low sugar, and raw items!

  • KellyKapowski

    Great!! I hope the bagels are good and echo the outdoor seating idea :)

    On the not-too-farfetched hope that the Bacio owners read this, pleeeease open early! There are so few breakfast options that open before 10 am in our hood. We always want to grab a quick bagel sandwich but with a baby, breakfast is more like 8 am, and we find ourselves walking down to Big Bear and contending with that whole scene (fun sometimes, but never quick / easy).

    • AC Slater

      Yes this this this. Would love coffee in the morning ahead of the commute.

  • Dear Bloomingdale neighbors,
    As you may have heard by now, Sylvan Cafe and Bakery is coming to the neighborhood!
    First let us say how grateful we are to Sara Fatell and the beautiful establishment she created in Grassroots Gourmet. Our top priority as the new owners of this space will be to honor her creation of a warm and inclusive community gathering spot where neighbors can come and enjoy great food, drink and company.
    It’s no accident that when we chose to launch another business we did it close to home. From the day we opened Bacio Pizzeria around the corner on Seaton Place, Bloomingdale has been an incredibly welcoming community. From Bloomingdale Toddler Soccer Team to the annual Crispus Attucks Park community yard sale to participating in Bloomingdale Beautification Day we have tried to support it right back. And when we saw an opportunity open our next dream business – a bakery! — right in the same neighborhood and build on the relationships we have with our beloved customers, we jumped at it.
    Which brings us to the name, Sylvan Café and Bakery. We’re history buffs – you might have seen our old neighborhood photographs up at Bacio – and we love that our building used to be a movie theater. One afternoon when we were bouncing around possible names for the new bakery, we looked up and wondered what it would take to restore the sign. That’s when the lightbulbs went on – at least in our own heads. We’d be the Sylvan Café and revive some of the fascinating history of the neighborhood. We are planning to bring the beautiful Sylvan sign back to life as well – though it may take a little while as we investigate the best way to restore it in a historically sensitive manner.
    In the meantime, we plan to open soon serving a wide array of fresh baked goods. We know there’s been some word on the street about us becoming a bagel shop – but please know we’ll be that and so much more. We have an in-house pastry chef and we anticipate serving up breads, cakes, and traditional European pastries as well as fresh sandwiches and paninis. We’re still in the process of developing our menu, so stay tuned!
    Please follow us on Twitter @sylvancafe and Facebook for opening day news, and we look forward to serving you!
    Thank you,
    Sylvan Cafe & Bakery family


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