1900 Barker in Lawrence: great bread and pastries

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As incredible as it seems, the occasional person still wanders into the white, one-story building at 1900 Barker in Lawrence — now the site of the 1900 Bakery & Cafe — wanting to get some washing done. Bungalow Laundry occupied this location for decades, and the long-gone business’s sign still hangs on one side of the building. 

The new bakery’s owners, brothers Taylor and Reagan Petrehn, like the sign, so it stayed. But virtually everything inside is different, following a $150,000 build-out. The result is a sunny, attractive baked-goods-and-coffee shop — one that already has a dedicated following. 

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Among the crusty, golden-brown loaves piled on metal shelving yesterday were the organic “utility loaf” and the seeded utility loaf (made with a porridge of whole grains and seeds). They’re baked each day that the bakery is open — from Wednesday through Saturday for now. The brothers also rotate specialty breads into the mix. These are, Taylor says, seasonal choices; yesterday, I tried a nutty raisin-pecan loaf and a superb olive-rosemary loaf. 

The changing seasons also inspire each day’s pastry offerings, both sweet and savory. As rustic as anything you might find in a Tuscany farmhouse, Taylor Petrehn’s slightly crispy galettes resemble small fruit pies, using the freshly harvested local fruits and berries from regional farms. Yesterday’s choices included a peach bread pudding, s Shaker lemon galette made with organic lemon curd, an apricot galette, and a blackberry galette baked with a touch of cultured cream.

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The galettes are big enough to share with a cup of very fine coffee. Reagan Petrehn, a longtime barista, is a coffee nerd who once traveled to China to open an outpost of a national coffee chain. Yesterday afternoon, he did a cupping so patrons could taste local roaster Messenger Coffee’s brew. But 1900 Barker isn’t yet working with just one area roaster, in part because Reagan Petrehn’s taste in coffee tends toward, say, Heart Roasters of Portland, Oregon, and Supersonic Coffee Co. in Berkeley, California. (There’s no tea here yet.)

Coffee also complements the thick slices of the daily savory focaccia. Yesterday’s choices were tomato-and-herb and a nicely chewy loaf topped with sliced potatoes and pamesan, blue and fontina cheeses. There are also big squares of a daily quiche.

Taylor Petrehn, who arrives at the bakery at 4 a.m. to begin baking the pastries, starts to serve the galettes and focaccia at 7 a.m. Breads don’t start coming out of the oven until after 2 p.m. (Watch 1900’s Facebook page for updates and word when something has sold out, as much of the offerings here tend to do.) 

Oh, if the name Petrehn rings a bell, there’s a reason. Taylor, 23, and Reagan, 21, are the nephews of former KSHB Channel 41 reporter Kevin Petrehn, whose local broadcasting career was cut short when he suffered a massive stroke in the 1990s.

1900 Barker is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or until sell-out) Wednesday through Saturday.

Categories: Dining, News