The last in a series of new bakeries from Boston’s pastry queen Joanne Chang is on the verge of opening, rounding out a three-shop expansion that started last fall. With new Flour Bakery + Cafe locations up and running in Cambridgeport and Harvard Square, Chang will complete the trio with an opening on Dalton Street in Back Bay, bringing the total number of Flours up to seven. (This will be the second Back Bay location; the other is on Clarendon Street.)
The 30 Dalton St. bakery is in its final stages and scheduled to have the necessary pre-opening inspections this week. The Flour team will be in the space all week getting acclimated and preparing for the first day, which is currently slated for Monday, April 24, according to Flour’s website.
Flour Dalton Street will have the same overall menu as the other bakeries, about 80 to 85 percent, Chang estimates. Customers will still be able to place orders for the full cake menu, though it will not be on display in the bakery, Chang said. Aside from that, there will be the usual soups, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, plus the daily and monthly specials regularly seen at the other bakeries, as well as some wiggle room for new items.
“It also gives the chefs and the pastry chefs some creative freedom,” Chang told Eater.
“The space is beautiful; it’s got really tall ceilings, which we’ve taken full advantage of,” Chang said, noting that Wolhardt put in place a number of design elements they had initially discussed when they first started working together. It will have the same feel of a Flour Bakery, but with its own charms.
“None of them are cookie cutter; they’re not all designed the same. Each one has its own character and personality based on the neighborhood and based on the space itself,” Chang said. Some of those elements at this location include mirrors, hanging plants, digital menu boards, black marble, and walnut-colored wood accents.
Employees for this new bakery are, for the most part, moving over from other locations. Some newer Flour employees are currently training at other locations and will join the mix when Dalton Street opens. Chang said that the desire to provide opportunities for staff to learn and grow was a large part of the initial reasons for expanding Flour.
“Each time we look at the Flours that we have and say, ‘What can we do better?’” she said. “Hopefully in 17 years we’ve improved some things.”
Part of those improvements includes online ordering, which Flour introduced within the last several months. The Dalton Street bakery is small, Chang said, and she anticipates that the space will fuel takeout service.
Now that this round of expansion is nearly complete, Chang will take some time to breathe and focus on her current cookbook projects, including promoting the forthcoming Myers + Chang cookbook, for which she collaborated with the restaurant’s executive chef and partner, Karen Akunowicz. This is Chang’s first full-on savory cookbook, and it will be released in the fall. She is also getting started on another Flour baking book. In the meantime, she said, she will “focus on making sure that these locations are just as great as the other ones.”
“Our goal is that when you walk into this location, you have no idea that it’s one of seven,” she said.
Update, 4/24: The new Flour opened today as planned.