Bâtard Boulangerie & Cafe Moderne is finally open in the Fraserhood at 3958 Fraser St. (just off 24th, a few doors down from Earnest Ice Cream). The place was a long time coming for co-owners Chris Brown (Rise Artisan Bakery) and Bruno and Sally Born (Finest At Sea). It’s taken well over a year to complete. To make it happen, they had to take the space back to its original brick bones, lay new floors…pretty much everything. When the building was originally constructed, it was on a rough wagon road called the North Arm Trail. It was only a year later – in 1910 – that it was re-named in honour of the adventurer, Simon Fraser.
We’ve peeled back the layers of a 100-year-old building, keeping some great exterior features and opening up the interior to create a space that has a small café on one side and bakery/epicierie on the other.
Although impossible to confine ourselves to a single genre, the name and theme are French “campagne”. (Chris’s previous Italian and North American artisan repertoires will be well represented – keeping the faithful happy and cheerfully creating our own bakery legitimacy!)
Our rustic baking will be showcased together with a great selection of The Farm House Cheeses’ excellent products along with a specially curated selection of French cheeses from Les Amis de Fromage and charcuterie from our good friends at Oyama – all of this accented with Bruno’s Best house made preserves as well as Gold and Silver-winning artisanal marmalades from Chris’s “The Bitter End”.
The name, of course, means Brown runs the bakery production while Elsie Born – long a fixture at Finest At Sea – oversees the front of house. Aside from breads and pastries, there’s also a light lunch menu that consists of soups, salads, tartines, and sandwiches, plus a variety of retail spices, preserves and ingredients to take home (everything from canned peaches and jams to Tonka beans and long peppercorns). Oh, and good coffee.
We recently dropped in and enjoyed some veggie gratin with fresh bread followed by a lovely Financier, some Kouign Amann, and cafe au lait.