Tart bakery bringing new tastes to Cooper-Young
A new French-style bakery and coffeehouse hopes to bring a bite of the Big Easy and beyond to Cooper-Young by mid-November.
Tart, whose tagline is “Taste the Art,” is moving into a house at 820 Cooper near Elzey, bringing pastries, European-style food, international coffee and local artwork.
“Cooper-Young really doesn’t have a bakery, per se, so we just hope to fill a little bit of a niche,” said Heather Pike, who is opening the business with fellow Midtowner Abby Jestis.
Jestis, a pastry chef who trained in New Orleans and worked with the Royal Sonesta Hotel there, will be cranking out croissants, eclairs, pralines and more from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, 7-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’ll need to do some renovation to be able to offer beignets, Pike said, but Tart should have those next year too.
“Beignets are a major priority for us,” she said.
Along with pastries, Tart will offer a menu featuring salmon roulette, toast, eggs, bacon and brioche, breakfast antipastos, croissant- and baguette-based sandwiches and hearty soups. Pike calls it “Euro-casual fare” with a New Orleans flair — “a little high end but not fussy, a little unconventional but not precious,” she said.
To wash it down, Tart will serve fine coffee including, sometime soon after opening, a selection of Cuban and Turkish varieties as well as pour-overs.
The food is all house-made and ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible.
“It’s all local, and as much from the neighborhood as possible,” Pike said,
That includes the artwork and gifts for sale inside, which will include a rotating selection from emerging artists in town and artisan-made gifts from Melissa Bridgeman pottery and others, Pike said.
With a new patio that’s being built in the backyard, Tart should accommodate about 40 people in the 2,000-square-foot space, Pike said.
There is customer parking in the rear, and Pike said customers will be able to place orders on their mobile devices for curbside pickup. There will even be a mobile device available outside the bakery for “drive-thru”-style orders.
Recently, Muddy’s Bake Shop recently announced it would open a Midtown location a few blocks north on Cooper, but Pike said she sees Tart as a complement, not competition. Tart, for instance, won’t do cupcakes, while Muddy’s won’t offer meals.
“She’s going to put together a fantastic product and it’s going to be completely different,” Pike said.
– By David Royer