Pre-opening revamp underway at La Jolla’s Sugar and Scribe bakery

Before the doors could even open at the planned Sugar and Scribe bakery/eatery, 7660 Fay Ave., (former home of Zenbu Sushi), co-owners Maeve Rochford and Patrick Daniels decided the full-service bakery would benefit from an overhaul.

Originally planned for an October 2014 debut, the eatery — a second location for the original Sugar and Scribe in Pacific Beach — will have a soft opening in late February, with a grand opening soon after.

“When we got behind the walls and under the floor and started some of the build-out, we found a few challenges that caused a bit of a delay,” consultant John Angelo said.

While that was happening, the ownership team and Angelo used the downtime to think about how to best use the space.

“The bakery section with our custom cookies, marshmallows and cakes, including wedding and cupcakes, really exploded (at our Pacific Beach location), so we decided to revamp our kitchen and we ended up redesigning the entire facility to offer more people our custom goods,” Rochford said. “We wanted to make sure we provided enough space for the designers, so we have a whole section now where people can watch all the custom decorations happen — not only can people enjoy their custom desserts, but they can watch them being made.” Angelo added, “Sometimes you are thrown

a curveball, but that curveball becomes an opportunity to knock it out of the park.”

Rochford also said the delay afforded them more time to explore beer and wine options, the licensing for which they were granted.

“We want to celebrate craft beer in San Diego and custom wine-based drinks, so we are excited that we will be able to offer that,” she said.

A Sugar and Scribe exclusive is the Black Velvet, a combination of Champagne and Guinness beer. In addition, the restaurant will have a gourmet to-go section for a quick lunch, and a fixed menu of Irish dishes for a sit-down experience.

“We took the opportunity to refine the concept and make it something people can get excited about and come back to again and again,” Angelo said.

To perfectly showcase the custom desserts and house-made dishes, lighting took a front seat. “(Daniels) and our lighting designer spent three weeks working on the lighting in the kitchen space and on the first floor so we would have true color lighting, because when patrons have a custom designed cake and cookies, you want to make sure the color is right,” Rochford said. “The vision of Sugar and Scribe — offering refined comfort food and a place that connects people and families — is something that really speaks to La Jolla, as the town is so family- and community- driven. I feel like so many elements of the restaurant speak to La Jolla.”