Leftie Lee’s to open in spring 2022 at Olive and Pine in Avondale EstatesA new mixed-use development is planned for the former Mann Mechanical building in Avondale Estates. The $5.5 million development, named Olive and Pine, will feature office, retail and restaurant spaces and is expected to be completed by January 2022. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
Avondale Estates, GA — A Korean-inspired bakery will soon be coming to Avondale Estates. Chef and baker Vivian Lee currently operates out of Leaven Kitchen in Decatur and serves her baked goods at Kinship in Virginia Highland.
Lee will soon open Leftie Lee’s at the Olive and Pine development in spring 2022.
“We will be offering croissants and other baked goods all made in house from scratch, along with some sandwich options for an easy lunch option,” Lee said. “We’ll also be offering breakfast sandwiches as well.”
The $5.5 million Olive and Pine development will feature office space and retail and restaurant spaces in the former Mann Mechanical building on Olive Street.
Lee is looking forward to being part of building the community in Avondale Estates, as Olive and Pine is a new development and will be located near the town green project.
“I wanted to be a part of community building,” Lee said. “I love the idea of people coming and grabbing a sandwich, walking over to the town green and having a picnic or something like that.”
The restaurant, which is named after Lee’s three-year-old daughter, will also host pop-ups to help other business owners. There won’t be a dining area in the bakery, but there will be seating options throughout Olive and Pine.
“We intentionally left it that way so that we’d have the most amount of flexible space available to also host pop-ups and private dinners and things like that within the space,” Lee said. “[It’s] almost like a space that’s low cost that the pop-up community could utilize to grow their own businesses out of, but also be a working bakery.”
“There are so many conditions that really could help or hinder a pop-up from working right. I wanted to remove some of those obstacles for the pop-ups to be successful,” she added.
Lee grew up going to many Korean bakeries in New Jersey. One bakery in particular, Paris Baguette, has been an inspiration to her.
“They are able to do a lot with basically just two doughs — the croissant dough and the milk bread dough,” Lee said. “I really like the simplicity of having those two doughs as a base and coming up with different baked goods.”
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Some of her most popular items are a black sesame croissants and milk bread, which she described as being similar to brioche bread.
Her breakfast menu will feature items such as a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. She also hopes to be creative with various types of toast to highlight her milk bread.
The lunch sandwiches will be inspired by flavors from around the world, probably with a focus on Asian flavors. Although, she is keeping an open mind and the bakery will be inspired from various flavors.
“For example, there is a sandwich that I served at a pop-up that went really well. It’s a Korean barbecue marinated beef with a perilla leaf ranch that I came up with on a milk bread bun,” Lee said.
She aims to offer her take on classic sandwiches.
“Having lived in New York, I miss those delis that you could walk into and order whatever kind of sandwich you ever wanted from there,” Lee said. “I’m playing with the idea of specials daily and changing up the menu frequently so that nothing gets old.”
Lee has always loved bread and has always wanted to open a bakery. She went to bread school at the French Culinary Institute in New York.
“When I was at bread school, I loved the idea of bread not just being the thing that sandwiches are on but a part of the sandwich, and my love for pastries and everything in general, led me up to where I am now,” Lee said.
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