D.C.’s dual Maison Kayser locations, known for freshly baked breads, gourmet pastries, and cafe-style cuisine, will serve their last loaves this month.
Eater confirmed both area locations in Penn Quarter (650 Massachusetts Avenue NW) and downtown (1345 F Street NW) will close on Friday, August 16, according to a D.C. employee reached by phone on Friday.
French baker Eric Kayser’s first stateside location outside of New York City debuted on F Street NW in February 2018 and was almost immediately followed by a second all-day cafe less than a mile away.
Kayser’s casual eatery, founded in France in 1996, expanded to the U.S. in 2012 and currently has 17 locations sprinkled across New York City. In addition to selling croissants, cookies, and cakes, the global chain serves gourmet soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees like vegetable quiche roast salmon and beef bourguignon.
Each Maison Kayser location is outfitted with a Fermentolevain, a large manual mixer he invented in 1993.
“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,” Kayser told Eater upon its District debut last year.
The D.C. team just received word from the corporate office about its local demise, declining to provide further details.
The Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema blasted the brand in an early review, saying its French pastries “are lacking an accent,” adding Kayser “needs to run its recipes through the culinary equivalent of spell-checker.”
Eater reached out to the company for comment on the closures and whether the news affects its NYC footprint.