Hans Röckenwagner (3 Square, Röckenwagner Santa Monica Bakery/Café, Röckenwagner Mar Vista Bakery) not only makes many of his own tables and chairs — he's an expert carpenter — but these days he's moving them around a lot too. Röckenwagner has signed a lease to build a new bakery/café in the upcoming Santa Monica Place, the newly renovated Santa Monica Mall which is modeled loosely on San Francisco's Ferry Building.

The Santa Monica Place will open August 6th; Röckenwagner's new bakery/café, in a 1,200 square foot space and much like the bakery/café on Arizona just off the Promenade, is set to open in early 2011.

In the meantime, Röckenwagner, who says that his bakery business has doubled in the last year (“Did you see that pretzel story in The New York Times? Pretzels are big, thank God.”), has taken over the commercial bakery space most recently leased by David Myers' company, now restructured.

Credit: Röckenwagner Bakery/Café

Credit: Röckenwagner Bakery/Café

Röckenwagner took possession of the 10,000 square foot space on Adams and Hauser in Culver City two months ago and hopes to open the bakery in September. Röckenwagner's baking operation will then move from its current location, on Washington Boulevard in Mar Vista, to the far larger Culver City space, which Myers meant to use as a bakery but which never became more than an office space. “They ran out of there,” said Röckenwagner yesterday, over coffee outside his Arizona café, of the former occupants, who left the building strewn with payroll records and press clips.

Once the baking operation moves, Röckenwagner will open the Mar Vista bakery up for breakfast and lunch service, reformatting it so that it resembles a daylight version of 3 Square, the chef's popular restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Thus when the music stops and the chef-owner finally sits down and maybe eats one of his own exceptional pretzels, Röckenwagner will have four restaurants and/or bakeries open on the Westside, booths at 10 area farmers markets, plus one mammoth baking facility a few miles east to supply his small empire.

LA Weekly