A new bakery is among the latest additions on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, the historic commercial corridor in Central City that's now chasing a comeback.
Adrian's Bakery (2016 O.C. Haley Blvd., 875-4302; www.adrians-bakery.com) opened in August in the Franz Building, a strip of storefronts built a century ago and recently redeveloped to attract small businesses.
The bakery sells mostly sweet pastries and baked goods, from donuts and eclairs to turtles and doberge squares. The staff prepares custom cakes and make king cakes in season. The praline cake — essentially a pound cake iced with a praline topping — is among its signature items.
Marcia Darby, who runs the bakery with her husband Adrian, says people often ask if they worked at McKenzie's, the beloved but long-lost New Orleans bakery chain. They didn't, but she takes it as a compliment.
In fact, the bakery has its own local history and had built several locations around town before Hurricane Katrina. This new Central City outlet joins another location (4710 Paris Road, 282-2283), which opened in Gentilly.
Darby says it may begin baking breads depending on demand. Her Gentilly location sometimes carries pistolettes and dinner rolls.
The Franz Building was reopened this summer by the Good Work Network (2028 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 309-2073; www.goodworknetwork.org), a nonprofit that provides technical assistance, coaching and development support to primarily minority- and women-owned small businesses. It includes the Chase Incubator, a business-support program, and office and retail space.