It’s Just Lunch / BreadHive
A great addition to Connecticut Street's restaurant row
Photos by kc kratt
402 Connecticut Street
Time to allow: At least an hour: there may be a wait for seating
Good for a crowd: Probably not.
Best dish for those in a hurry: The cooler has grab-and-go items.
Parking: Nearby side streets are a sure thing, but watch the signs.
BreadHive Bakery has been making local favorite breads, bagels, pretzels, and more since 2014. The bakery is a worker cooperative, meaning that its employees are also its owners, a business model that is almost as important to those involved as the product itself. Its goods have been available in grocery stores, at farmers markets, on restaurant menus, and out of the Baynes Street bakery’s walk-up window. In June 2016, BreadHive Cafe debuted at 402 Connecticut St., offering all the established favorites, plus sit-down dining options.
BreadHive’s lunch menu kicks in at 10:30 a.m.; breakfast is available before that. The lineup includes eight sandwiches, available on the bakery’s sourdough, rye, or multigrain bread, costing between $8.50 and $10. Each is named after a female singer, so your order might include the Fiona (Apple), with brie and fontinella cheeses, apple, and fig, or the Robyn, BreadHive’s take on a Reuben with pastrami, swiss cheese, pickles, and beet and caraway kraut from local fermenter Barrel + Brine. The Bjork is a vegan favorite, with the strong flavors of smoky tempeh bacon and funky Barrel & Brine kimchi.
In addition to the cooler of bottled teas, juices, sparkling water, and Barrel + Brine and Aqua Vitea kombucha, BreadHive offers coffee (both hot and cold) roasted by Public Espresso, and soda made by Community Beer Works. You can also pick up baked goods to take home, with different breads available throughout the week in addition to the daily lineup of bagels, pretzels, baguettes, and BreadHive’s signature West Side Sourdough.
Seating is somewhat limited, with a handful of four-top tables and seats along the windows adding up to room for about twenty. When the weather is nice, there are also tables placed out front. Don’t expect to hold a large meeting here without taking up the entire dining room. It is better suited for a group of two to four, or a nice solo meal.
Depending on how busy it is, expect to wait about five to ten minutes for your meal. For those in more of a rush, there is a grab-and-go cooler with sandwiches, salads, dips, soups, and the like. The sandwiches include cold cut options not on the standard menu, such as the Alanis with turkey or Mandy with roast beef. Consider taking a late lunch if you would like the full sit-down experience without as much of a wait or a crowd; BreadHive is open until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, until 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, and closed on Mondays.
Parking is available on Connecticut Street, or the one-way cross streets, and it is usually pretty easy to get a spot within a few hundred feet of the door.
Nick Guy writes regularly for Spree and several websites, including Serious Eats and Wirecutter.