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One of SF’s Top Bakeries Is Poised to Open in Civic Center

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Arsicault Bakery’s Book Concern spot has served its first customers

Those who are eager to enjoy the internationally-famous croissants at Arsicault Bakery will soon have a UN Plaza option, as the tiny Richmond District operation appears to be open — though perhaps, not officially —in its long-awaited location in San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood.

Finance guy turned baker Armando Lacayo opened the first location of his bakery at 397 Arguello Boulevard in April of 2016. By that August, Bon Appétit had dubbed the spot — which specializes in French pastries — its best new bakery in the US for its “impossibly tender and buttery” croissants and “flat and tightly spiraled kouign amann.”

The honor overwhelmed the spot instantly Lacayo told Eater SF at the time, spurring lines that have trailed down the block ever since. In fall of 2018, Lacayo signed a lease for a second location in Civic Center, but silence on the spot’s progress caused some to speculate that plans for the expansion had been spiked.

That speculation proved unfounded, however, as numerous tipsters contacted Eater SF Tuesday to say that the bakery was open for business in its new location at 87 McAllister Street, in the historic Book Concern building.

Arsicault’s unmarked location at 87 McAllister Street
Eve Batey

Confirmation that the spot is indeed open has been tough to get, however. A security guard stationed outside the venue told Eater SF that the bakery — which, as of Tuesday night lacked signage or posted hours — had served customers from 7 a.m. and closed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, its first-ever day in business. Eater SF called Arsicault’s Richmond bakery in hopes of additional details, but an employee there said that they weren’t sure if the Civic Center location had fully opened. An email to Lacayo was not returned at publication time.

All this to say that if one is in the neighborhood — perhaps for the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, a visit to the Asian Art Museum or Main Library, or business at the courthouses or City Hall — it’s worth making a quick detour to see if Arsicault’s doors at McAllister and Seventh Streets are open. However, it’s unclear if its croissant game is fully afoot quite yet. Expect an update when more information is revealed.

Arsicault Book Concern

87 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102