The New ‘Sourdough Bakery’ Slinging Breads on Ludlow Street

Posted on: October 8th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

The unique storefront at the confluence of Ludlow, Canal, and Division Streets boasts a new bakery.

Mel opened at 1 Ludlow Street in early September, but you might not know it. While the exterior received a coat of navy blue, the blinds are usually drawn during the day. It is here that baker Nora Allen, whose roots extend back to time at Roberta’s, mills grains for her sourdough creations.

Mel, named after the Danish word for flour, (mjöl), sells sourdough croissants, bialys, rye chocolate chip cookies, and a selection of breads: einkorn poppyseed miche, a sourdough country loaf, and a kasha varnishkes–inspired bread.

It’s only open on weekends for now, and is the second bakeshop within a block radius, behind the year-old Michaeli Bakery on Division.

Word on the street is that real estate firm DLJ Partners – currently developing the Jarmulowsky Bank hotel – is involved in the bakery. Which makes sense, as the firm acquired the converted townhouse from developer Ross Morgan in 2018 for $5.25 million.

Once upon a time there were grand plans for this converted townhouse, situated where three Chinatown street merge (Ludlow/Canal/Division). This unique address was to become a three-room bed-and-breakfast called Ludlow Inn. That never happened, though, and Morgan ultimately treated it as a residence. Subsequent proposals for Cantina LES, Three Points, and Mimi ultimately met the axe.

In fact, DLJ Partners is probably one of the larger landowners in the vicinity, having spent the last few years staking claim to properties orbiting the 1912-era Jarmulowsky building. They now hold five properties within three blocks, including the vacant Essex Street lot on which the Cactus Shop operates.

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