Greg Baxtrom Opens Evi’s Bakeri With Pastry Chef Alex Grunert – WWD

Greg Baxtrom, head chef of Brooklyn favorites like Olmsted and Maison Yaki, is welcoming his third culinary project at Vanderbilt Avenue.

He teamed up with Olmsted pastry chef Alex Grunert to open Evi’s Bakeri, an all-day bakery and cafe that pays homage to Grunert’s Austrian upbringing.

“Two years ago, I told him if you got on the train, I promised that I would open a bakery with you. So now I’m making good on that promise,” said Baxtrom, who met Grunert while they were both working in the kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Baxtrom scored in the corner before COVID-19. “Actually I got into thinking, man, it would be great to have this space, and then a week later they close. So it was like the stars told me to do it,” he added. “I don’t know how I became a neighborhood restaurant, but I really wanted to double that and have something you can really find yourself coming to several times a week.”

During the height of the pandemic, Baxtrom and his team opened a “Commercial Post Office” in Olmsted’s private dining room, where they began selling Grunert’s bread and jam and other goods. “The neighborhood was obviously very upset when we shut it down, so we just moved it a block and a half down the street,” Baxtrom said.

Baked goods offered at Evi’s Bakeri include croissants, cinnamon rolls and donuts, matcha pastries served at Maison Yaki, daily baguettes and seasonal breads, sold with jams, jellies and granola homemade. There are also traditional Austrian desserts, like the seasonal Austrian Sachertorte and Christmas Stollen, recipes that Grunert honed while studying in a cooking school in Vienna.

The idea is that Tartine meets Breads Bakery, in Brooklyn – and it’s all accessible. “I don’t want to run out of anything here,” says Baxtrom, adding that he expects customers to come, sit and stay for a while.

At night – and opening next year – this space will transform into another restaurant conceived by Baxtrom. Like his first two restaurants, the space was built with his father’s support. It’s a family project across the board: the bakery is named after Grunert’s mother, and the upcoming restaurant will be named after Baxtrom’s mother. The design aesthetic also reflects the family inspiration.

“Alex is Austrian, so [Evi’s] is black and white, that is the cleaner lines. Those are old school lighting fixtures,” said Baxtrom. “While on the other hand, my mother was a high school teacher for 30 years, so there are more primary colors.”

There is also a children’s corner and a “stroller stroller” in the front. “Like a bike lock system,” he adds. “So you can tie your stroller in the front and comfortably roll up with two kids in the stroller, leave it in the front, and enjoy a meal.”

Inside the bakery.

Inside the bakery.
Noah Fecks

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