Vanishing New York this morning brought us the sorry tale of Les Desirs Patisserie, a 47-year-old bakery on Ninth Avenue that’s a gathering spot for local seniors. The bakery, which has been owned by Jean Pauget for the past 10 years, happens to be on the same block as Co., Jim Lahey’s artisanal pizza haven. And it’s none other than Lahey who plans to open a branch of his Sullivan Street Bakery in the Les Desirs space once Pauget is kicked out by his Penn South landlords at the end of October.
While it’s difficult to bemoan the arrival of more great bread to a neighborhood, it’s far more difficult to celebrate the closure of a place that provides both decent food and a sense of community to people who can’t otherwise afford to eat out in their gentrified neighborhood. Les Desirs is circulating a petition to stay in its home; if it’s unsuccessful, its senior clientele could end up meeting at McDonald’s. Check out the Les Desirs website: undoubtedly the most poignant photo is that of a cake made in honor of Penn South’s 40th anniversary.