D.C. gets more freshly baked breads, gourmet pastries, and cafe-style fare this week with the arrival of the second Maison Kayser outpost in the area.
The new Penn Quarter location (650 Massachusetts Avenue NW), currently projected to open on Wednesday, February 28, sits less than a mile from the inaugural District location the Parisian brand unveiled earlier this month at 1345 F Street NW. Kayser’s casual eatery, founded in France in 1996, expanded stateside in 2012 and his since spread across New York City. He tells Eater the time was right to bring the all-day establishment to D.C.
“I love this city. There’s is a lot of culture and I visit all the museums,” he says, adding that his favorite D.C. pastime is burning carbs by running along the Tidal Basin (he’s an annual participant in the Cherry Blossom 5K).
Kayser says he’s impressed by “how good” the food is now in D.C., which includes welcome competitors in the bistro and pastry world. In addition to selling croissants, cookies, and cakes, Maison Kayser serves gourmet soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees including vegetable quiche roast salmon, and beef bourguignon. While he’s looking for additional opportunities to expand, Kayser’s happy with two local shops for now.
“We have many shops but we are what you say artisan — meaning, we mix and bake in the same place. We have many, many bakers. So the importance to us is not quantity, it’s quality to make our beautiful product,” he tells Eater.
To mark his arrival in D.C., Kayser prepared a special bread made from ancient grains that will be sold exclusively at area stores. He plans to export the featured selection to France later on.
Each Maison Kayser location is outfitted with a Fermentolevain, a large manual mixer he invented in 1993.
“This is a place you can come for 15 hours for good coffee, baguettes, to-go salads,” Kayser says of his restaurants.
The new Maison Kayser shop is projected to operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Status: Scheduled to open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28. 650 Massachusetts Avenue NW; website.