Baked goods meet booze at Bakery Bar, the newest addition to New Orleans’ Lower Garden District food and beverage scene. Located inside the former Eleven-79 space, Bakery Bar is the latest endeavor of Charlotte McGehee and Charles Mary, the dessert making duo behind Debbie Does Doberge. Over the last several years, McGehee and Mary used the kitchen of the Mid-City bar, Twelve Mile Limit, as their baking hub. They became nocturnal bakers, performing their craft throughout the night and into the morning while the bar was closed. Their Specialty? Doberge cakes, of course.
Doberge cake, made by layering 6 to 8 thin layers of cake with alternating layers of pudding filling, is a New Orleans specialty created in the early 1930s by local baker Beulah Bedner from the Hungarian Dobos Torte. McGehee, who has been selling her cakes to the people of New Orleans since 2009, first mastered the layered dessert while working in a bakery in Baton Rouge.
After moving to New Orleans several years later, McGehee dreamed up the idea for Debbie Does Doberge after a boozy brainstorming session with friends. Initially, the cakes were sold from the Wine Institute of New Orleans, where McGehee employed at the time, but later the bakery found a home inside Twelve Mile Limit.
While other bakeries tend to keep the flavoring of these cakes simple, Debbie Does Doberge has an imaginative menu with an assortment of both classic and innovative flavors including Whoopie Pie, I-Used-To-Be-Thin Mint, Heavenly Hash, and the original flavors, Chocolate, and Lemon. If you aren’t in need of an entire cake, Debbie offers smaller, personal versions of her inventive cakes. The D-Cup is a three-inch-tall pyramid shaped cake, while the Dobite is a one-inch-tall doberge pyramid; you decide which one is the perfect size to satisfy your sweet tooth.
After years of selling their product out of other people’s bars, McGehee and Mary finally have a bar to call their own: Bakery Bar. This venue, which opened on April 19, naturally serves the dessert for which Debbie Does Doberge is known, along with other sweet treats like Chocolate covered “Salty Balls,” and cookies.
Jeff Schwartz, who previously bartended at both Coquette and Twelve Mile Limit, created a top-notch drink menu that features both new, inventive cocktails— like the Absinthe Frappe— while also covering classic libations. Former Coquette chef, Mason Hereford, put together the introductory food menu, which includes cheese and charcuterie plates, sandwiches, and small bites.
Eventually, the food menu will be taken over by Jordan Brown, who worked with Hereford on the new menu. Bakery Bar has a selection of board games to play and books to read while you eat and drink—but don’t forget to order dessert!
Bakery Bar is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight.