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Good Friday will be a good day for bread lovers in downtown Detroit. April 14 is official opening date of Avalon International Breads’ new downtown cafe and bakery.

CEO Jackie Victor says the downtown Avalon Cafe and Bakery will be a place to quickly grab coffee and something for breakfast or lunch, but also a spot to sit and have a casual dinner of pizza and beer or wine.

“It’s going to be a much faster pace, very much service-orientated,” she says of the new cafe, located at 1049 Woodward, a few steps from Campus Martius. “We’re meeting the customers where they are, that’s what we’ve always done everywhere we are.”

This Detroit location follows a recently opened cafe and restaurant in Ann Arbor and a presence in Detroit Metro Airport’s McNamara Terminal. The original Avalon location at 422 W. Willis in the Cass Corridor has been operating since 1997 and today serves 1,000 folks daily.

A few years ago, the organic baked goods business expanded to a “bake house” at 4731 Bellevue on Detroit’s east side. There, employees make 1,500 loaves of bread and pastries for all of Avalon’s locations. There’s also a small cafe with Avalon products, coffee and some groceries.

Victor says the new downtown spot will have the same reclaimed wood, industrial stainless steel and orange accents that Avalon is known for – “’cause that’s who we are” – but because it’s a new space, it will look more polished.

“It’s not Willis. It’s not a funky, hole-in-the-wall, so we’re not trying to make it that,” she said. “This is an all-new build ... it’s going to be a little less relaxed than Willis because downtown is less relaxed, people are in a rush. They want things fast and that’s how we’re going to give it to them, but with the same quality and great service.”

The Detroit cafe will have seating for nearly 50 inside and an additional 36 on a sidewalk patio. Customers will place an order at the counter and have their food – sandwiches, pizza, baked treats, coffee, beer or wine – brought to them. There will also be a retail space with grab-and-go food.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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