Sweet Lady Jane, a Melrose staple for over 20 years, is opening a second bakery in Santa Monica, at Montana Avenue and 17th Street. The opening date is tentatively August 1st, however owner Jane Lockhart warns that the date might be pushed to early September, as the newly leased space (previously a pharmacy) is currently being re-painted and undergoing major renovations. Why expand the popular cafe-bakery now, after 22 years of business? “We have always known it was something we wanted to do, but we didn't know how to go about it. The ability to reproduce the same exact product was difficult, up until now,” said Lockhart. A commissary kitchen constructed last year, which is located just outside of the Melrose store, is what's making the expansion possible, and it will provide mostly all of the baked goods for both locations.

Lockhart wants to ensure customers receive the same high quality desserts that they're used to. “You can take the same recipe and it can come out completely different,” she said. But the owner is not as concerned about the new store showcasing the same aesthetic design as its predecessor. The slightly larger space will have an edge to it, she explained. With a more contemporary style, details might include vine covered windows and doors, lemon trees in the entryway, and a floor embossed with Lockhart's unique cake designs.

Sweet Lady Jane: 1631 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, and 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles: (323) 653-7145.

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