By Renee Frojo
After several unexpected setbacks typical of the restaurant industry, Marla Bakery is finally ready to swing the doors open to its first brick-and-mortar shop in the Outer Richmond, bringing a taste of homemade goodness to the neighborhood's mostly Asia-influenced culinary scene.
The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Amy Brown and Joe Wolf -- who recently wed in the new restaurant's enchanting little back patio -- Marla's is more than just a bakery. The restaurant will eventually become a full-service shop, offering a variety of dishes crafted with local ingredients and many in-house creations that you will likely not find anywhere else in the area.
The 30-seat restaurant is centered around a custom wood-burning oven, with tables that wrap around the kitchen, allowing some diners to get a peek into what's cooking. Additional seating space for 12 more will eventually be set in restaurant's outdoor patio, which is stocked with fruit trees and an herb garden, and will eventually be used for meals and events. In the meantime, patrons of the restaurant will be invited to use the outdoor space to relax and imbibe from its carefully curated list of wine, beer, and -- because it's a passion project of wine director Chris Deegan -- sherry.
On Thursday, the bakery will have a slow opening for cafe hours only, serving things like pastries, breads, desserts and coffee, with a full-service breakfast and lunch starting next week. That's when you can go in for anticipated dishes like Marla's bagels with house made cream cheese, sandwiches with house-cured ham, ricotta pancakes with stone fruit jelly, and black bread pudding with a poached egg and beet relish.
Beyond the all-local menu, nearly everything about the restaurant is homemade, from the tables created by Brown's father to the artwork on the wall by her brother.
The restaurant is the realization of a longtime dream come true for the couple, who live in neighborhood a have always wanted to start restaurant close to home.