Monday, August 19, 2013

Beignet on West 39th Street is now open

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Beignet owner Bryan Merker and his chief barista Cody Steffen are bringing coffee and fried French doughnuts to 39th Street.
  • Beignet owner Bryan Merker and his chief barista, Cody Steffen, are bringing coffee and fried French doughnuts to 39th Street.

Restaurateur Bryan Merker has had such a success with his beignet-and-coffee concept at the City Market (the breakfast-and-lunch cafe, Beignet, opened in May) that he opened a second Beignet, serving the same menu as the City Market location, on Saturday in the narrow storefront formerly occupied by a carryout hot-dog stand at 1710 West 39th Street.

"It was a soft opening," Merker says. "It took a week to get this place in shape. On Saturday, I just came in and turned on the open sign."

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Merker said the weekend business for freshly fried, sugar-covered doughnuts (as well as sweet and savory crepes; sweet-potato fries; and savory beignets like "The Bronx," filled with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, pepperoni and meatballs) was very good. Customers can sit at iron tables outside or at a counter both inside and outside the venue. Merker is not currently using the sliding glass windows used for ordering food in this restaurant's previous incarnation. "But the customers want to order from there," he said.

Unlike the City Market location, the 39th Street Beignet will offer a full array of lattes, cappuccinos, machiattos and espresso beverages, as well as the chicory-spiced coffee and Louisiana-style sweet tea served in the River Market.

Merker, who recently changed the culinary concept of his two-year-old Nica's 320 restaurant to a Cajun-style restaurant, is also working on two more restaurant concepts to be launched this year.

Beignet on West 39th is open seven days a week, serving from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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