Restaurant News & Reviews

Scratch Bakery’s Phoebe Lawless close to opening The Lakewood restaurant, bar

Acclaimed baker and pastry chef Phoebe Lawless is almost ready to open her first full-service restaurant and bar, The Lakewood, with a second Scratch Bakery to follow.

The Scratch Bakery owner has big plans for the former Davis Baking Co. building on Chapel Hill Road in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood.

The 90-seat restaurant with a rooftop bar is expected to open by May 22 or 23, Lawless said.

Shortly after that, Lawless will open a bakery production facility, where bread and pastries can be made for Scratch and to expand her wholesale operations.

By early July, she plans to open a second location of Scratch, the bakery she’s owned on Orange Street since the summer of 2010. Doughnuts, pastries and more will still be made at the original location.

“I’ve always been in love with the building,” Lawless said. “It’s a pretty iconic building. The building is stunning.”

Lawless, who once worked at the now-closed Magnolia Grill for award-winning pastry chef Karen Barker, has earned national recognition and several James Beard Award nominations. She was a semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she was a semifinalist for Outstanding Baker.

She said there was a need to find space so she could expand her baking facilities and sell to more restaurants.

The Davis Baking building’s 7,000 square feet allowed her to think bigger.

“I’ve always wanted to do dinner, to have a full-service restaurant,” she said. “Having the space that can accommodate both is a dream come true.”

The rooftop bar was a bonus, she said.

The menu is still being tweaked, but she’s kept a running list of menu ideas that spans several pages. Brooks Cameron is the chef de cuisine and has been “enormously helpful” in helping her shape the menu, she said.

“We’re calling it American Craft Cookery,” she said. “It’s an extension of what we’ve been doing at Scratch.”

Scratch serves breakfast, lunch and brunch along with a variety of baked goods. Her pies rotate monthly and feature local, seasonal ingredients. This month includes lemon chess, strawberry-rhubarb, buttermilk sugar and honeysuckle chess.

She said the food at The Lakewood with be ingredient-focused and sourced locally from farmers and the food producers she’s formed relationships with over the years.

Because it’s a neighborhood restaurant, she said burgers will be on the menu.

“It’s important to have something on the menu for everyone,” she said. Everyone can walk in and find something they want to order.”

The Lakewood will start serving dinner and eventually will expand to brunch. On the roof, food won’t be served initially but could be served there in the future. It will be closed Tuesdays.

“It’s not driven by any type of cuisine,” she said. “Delicious is our motivation.”

Info: 2022 Chapel Hill Road, Durham. thelakewooddurham.com, https://www.facebook.com/The-Lakewood-916213845182585/; Instagram @thelakewooddurham

Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831, @JessicaBanov

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