By Tom Momberg
The much-anticipated grand opening of The French Workshop, at 38-39 Bell Blvd., attracted a huge turnout in Bayside last Friday night, when the owners held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and blessing of the bakery.
The French Workshop is a French artisan bakery featuring an assortment of decadent sweets, pastries and breads. It is the conception of brothers Neil and Jerry Pantelatos.
The brothers, who run their family’s bakeries in Ditmars, Queens, and Morningside Heights, Manhattan, under the name Artopolis, said they wanted to establish something more authentic for the French baking experience.
Jerry Pantelatos studied at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo. He said his background has inspired him and his family to pay close attention to detail in opening up a new bakery.
“The idea behind this bakery has been in the works for a few years now,” Jerry Pantelatos said. “We grew up in the bakery business—we love what we do. And I am from Bayside, I grew up here and I love this area. We really wanted to do something that hits home.”
Jerry and Neil Pantelatos’ father, Nick Pantelatos, wanted to go above and beyond, forming a partnership with Demitrius Zorbas, whose family owns over 60 bakeries and baked-goods factories in Cyprus and Dubai.
“And we went in 50/50 here on this beautiful bakery with a nice open concept, and hopefully we are going to be able to expand,” Nick Pantelatos said.
The kitchen at the French Workshop is separated from the front counter by large panes of glass, so patrons can see the bakers making the breads and pastries.
“All our kitchen is exposed, because we want everyone to see that we are really focusing on the craft of our product. Every detail matters in what we do here—from the ingredients we use to our packaging,” Jerry Pantelatos said.
The owners went to great lengths when planning the shop, which features state-of-the art equipment, hand-cut marble tables and a full coffee bar for those who are dining in.
“All of our equipment we got from France. It’s state of the art, and as you will see, it really makes a difference,” Jerry Pantelatos said. “Baking is like chemistry, so if you are using sophisticated technology, it works that much better. We really wanted to do something special here.”
The French Workshop is now open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The Pantelatos family said if business goes well, they hope to open for a morning shift next year as well.
The bakery’s website is still under construction, but once complete customers can go online to www.thefr