Goodbye Ideal, hello Tandem

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The beloved East Bayside third-wave coffee roaster has found a perfect pairing — pie.

This summer Tandem Coffee Roasters expands to the West End with a bakery/cafe at 742 Congress St. The former service station, long rumored to become Ideal Bakery by Jay Villani, instead will be “Tandem Two.”

Baker Briana Holt, who recently worked for 7a Foods in Martha’s Vineyard was hired as a Tandem barista a few months ago. Her baked goods so impressed Villani, he told them to take over his lease.

“We could never say no to that building,” said Tandem owner Will Pratt, of the mid-century brakes and shocks garage. “It’s very exciting to us.”

And even more exciting for the coffee culture, who need a little substance with their caffeine. Will, his wife Kathleen Pratt and Holt hatched the idea in Brooklyn —  they worked at Blue Bottle, she at Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Williamsburg.

“We talked about doing this for so long, her running the bakery side of our coffee deal. We are finally doing it,” said Will Pratt. “She is a born baker. Her stuff is made with so much heart, I can tell before I taste it, just by holding it.”

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The pie-centric shop will have fresh fruit pies, custards and “real chocolately things,” said Holt. Buttermilk custard pie is a speciality and pies like sour cherry will be in seasonal rotation. Scones, biscuits and raised-sticky buns too.

“We feel very strongly about coffee and pie together. It’s like breakfast and dessert at the same time,” said Holt, whose treats will complement Tandem’s flavorful small-batch roasts.

The new spot is 50 percent larger than its snug Anderson Street cafe, with 19 seats and an open, communal table, said Will. “A place where the community can gather.”

And get pie-eyed.

Construction starts in April with a summer opening planned.

 

 

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.