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9th Street, Not Dead Yet, Seylou Bakery & Mill (and lots more) Coming Late Summer

by Prince Of Petworth February 15, 2017 at 10:10 am 11 Comments

seylou bakery
926 N Street, NW

Despite the recent demise of Chao Ku, Piassa, Table, Shaw Bistro and A&D in April – all is not lost for 9th Street. A reader reports this great update:

“The Union Kitchen Market (SE corner of 9/N) is now open, the place that’s going into the old Rogue 24 location (next to La Colombe) looks like it’s close to being done Ed. Note: Monkey King and there’s the bakery (pictured above) at 926 N.”

Seylou Bakery & Mill’s website says:

“opening late Summer 2017

A Whole grain bakery
We specialize in
100% whole grain
freshly milled artisan breads
made in a wood fired oven
as well as
healthy and nutritious
pastries, teas and coffees.

We hope to delight your senses and nourish your body.

Seylou means “eagle” in the Mandinka language of West Africa.

Several years ago, Jonathan ventured on an unforgettable journey to Senegal. While there he studied West African drumming. The following year he returned and immersed himself in the village life for several weeks. He made a deep connection with the people and creatures there. Oftentimes when he gazed into the sky he would see a majestic bird flying overhead. When he asked the chief what the name of the bird was, he was told it was called “say-loo-kun-O.

Jonathan made a promise that someday, not knowing how, he would return and give back to the community. Once he reconnected with his commitment to the village in Senegal the realm of baking opportunities opened up for him. After training and baking in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years he landed a job at Washington State University’s Bread Lab and worked alongside Dr. Stephen Jones to bring together the art and science of baking and breeding. This undertaking introduced him to world class chefs, farmers, bakers and millers throughout the country.

Jonathan and Jessica felt the desire to collaborate together to bring the art of whole grain baking to the nations capital. They will be offering a unique experience at SEYLOU. Their process will start with the farmers and lead to the seed, which will then be milled on site and baked into 100% whole grain bread in a wood fired oven. They also will offer eclectic and nutritious specialty items, pastries, coffees and teas.”

  • joe

    This sounds like an ad from J. Peterman

    • Hill Denizen

      I still don’t get what the whole West Africa story has to do with the bakery. They’re really grasping at straws. It reminds me of the stories accompanying the dishes at Shaw Bijou – every single vacation or event in the chef’s life was some sort of life-altering experience. At least this guy has pretty impressive chops, but still, nix the whole first paragraph and add a sentence to the last saying, “inspired by the majestic birds Jonathan admired during his time in Senegal, he decided to name the bakery Seylou,” or something along those lines. I like this idea, but I’m already biased against it based on the ridiculous, self-aggrandizing story they led with.

      • Hill,

        Thank you for the input. I see what you mean about the story. I’ll work on it. Hope to see you around.

        Jonathan

        • joe

          ++++++++ response! Seems like a nice guy. Good luck with your business!

      • Shawington

        Yes, I agree with this entirely. The places that succeed in the neighborhood do well because they offer a good value proposition: a quality product exchanged at a fair price. What is a fair price, of course, depends entirely on context. As a few examples, I enjoy and regularly frequent Convivial, El Sol, Chaplin, the Dabney, Cher Cher, and All Purpose. I think each is priced appropriately for what is offered.

        For a new business to succeed like this, it has to lead by offering a quality product at a fair price. The story behind that product is window dressing–nice window dressing, mind you, but still window dressing–on whether the value proposition is right.

  • Shawington

    I live on 9th St, a few short blocks from these spots, and I’m not concerned in the least at the closings. It has nothing at all to do with the neighborhood–and everything to do with the spots that are closing being sub-par compared to competition. (Save A&D–which is awesome, and apparently closing because of landlord decision and not market demand.) In fact, I think it’s great to clear out some of these places, with the hopes that new spots will actually meet market demand.

    • anon

      Exactly! It is ridiculous to think that any of these spots closed for any reason other than just not getting (or not listening to) advice from people in the neighborhood. Most were clear du I’m shocked that Table lasted as long as it did, and the rest were pretty clear duds from the beginning. I did like Chao Ku for what it was, but it didn’t provide anything special in terms of flavor, and nothing was healthy, so someone always ruled it out. The Piassa place was very weird and not the slightest bit enticing with Cher Cher next door; I actually still don’t understand what they were trying to be. A&D was decent, but didn’t make great use of its space. And, of course, Shaw Bijou was so ridiculous that it was insulting.

      • tom

        Yeah, citypaper had an article on the closings. The local shaw business association head basically chalked up the closings to a variety of idosyncratic concerns. Table had run its course/mix of chefs, Chao Ku had trouble with the cost of the renovation and AD’s closing is chalked up to a landlord dispute. On the whole, the area is still on the upswing.

        Although, the business head did state the one big impediment for Shaw is the lack of daytime lunch traffic. Not much that can realistically be done about that given the area is mostly built out with historically protected rowhouses.

  • jaybird

    twee.

  • Hill Denizen

    It would be interesting if they actually sold their flour…though I guess my wallet and cabinet space would hate me.

  • Lisa

    This is fantastic! And I like the narrative backstory. Personal mythologies are interesting and add meaning to what could appear ordinary.

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