Pain D’Avignon Coming To Chatham

by Alan Pollock
A sign of things to come at the former Chatham Bakery. ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO A sign of things to come at the former Chatham Bakery. ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

CHATHAM – The next incarnation of the former Chatham Bakery on Crowell Road promises to bring quelque chose de spécial to the neighborhood, when the French restaurant and boulangerie Pain D’Avignon opens next month.

The new Chatham location, together with a new branch in Osterville and a just-opened pizzeria in Hyannis, marks a time of expansion for the 31-year-old business based near the airport in Hyannis.

“We’re basically bringing the show on the road,” said Chief Operating Officer Mario Mariani. The Chatham location, expected to open around the second week in June, will have a retail bakery and cafe with specialty coffee, croissants and grab-and-go pastries and a menu of food for on-premises dining, he said.

“We’re going to have that kind of small — not tapas — but smaller plates of beautiful food. Not a large menu, but just super comfortable in that environment that enabled us to be successful here at Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis,” he said. The business will apply for a liquor license and will serve beer and wine as well, Mariani said.

The business has just signed the lease option for the property, which was Emmabelle’s Cafe last summer, operated by Shane Coughlin. For years before that, it was Chatham Bakery.

“Shane left us in very, very good shape,” Mariani said. The restaurant was fully renovated and can be operational quickly, though most of the baked goods — other than baguettes — will be produced at the company’s main bakery in Hyannis.

Pain D’Avignon began as a small boulangerie that built a robust wholesale business from its Hyannis location, which is on the edge of an industrial area.

“We’ve never had a neighborhood,” Mariani said. “Chatham has it, and we’ll finally enjoy what [it means to be] a friendly neighborhood place. And we’re looking forward to being ‘count-on-able’ year-round,” he said.

Aside from having many customers from the Lower Cape who trek to Hyannis, Pain D’Avignon’s baguettes, boules and other baked goods are available in many local stores. The decision to come to Chatham was, in part, a family connection; two of the business’ leaders, Vojin and Diana Vujosevic, live in the area and have kids in the Monomoy schools. The real estate agent who brokered the lease was Tony Guthrie, an old friend who bought bread from Mariani when he was at the Wequassett Inn. “It’s kind of coming full circle,” Mariani said.

As of last week, town officials said they had not yet been approached about obtaining permits, but Mariani said the applications are being prepared by his attorney, Michael Ford. Permitting in the town of Barnstable has been a challenge, he admitted.

“I understand Chatham is a little more business-friendly,” he said. Initially, the business will likely be open Wednesdays through Sundays, closing around 7 p.m., but by July 4 it should be open seven days through late evening, possibly around 11 p.m., he said.

Mariani said he’s looking forward to building relationships in Chatham.

“We’re going to be there year-round for many years,” he said.