It seems to be the natural order in a fast-developing neighborhood: What used to be among the city’s largest gay bars is now a shiny new office building, and its latest Mount Vernon tenant is planning to make the city “crumblier, but in a good way.”

Neman Popov, founder of Roggenart European Bakery, said the added crumbs have been a long time coming for the business, which set its eyes on Mount Vernon back when the company had only one other location in the state. As of Tuesday morning, it has five, opening a fresh spot in the City House Charles building at 1001 N. Charles St.

The bakery brand, known for its eclectic variety of croissants, from pepperoni to cinnamon flavors, joins a growing number of tenants who glommed on to the eight-story office development at a time where office spaces are struggling to sell, according to Jack Danna, president of the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association.

“This whole building has been reimagined,” he said. “Roggenart is what’s going to give it that communal meeting space.”

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Eric Souza, president of the Midtown Community Benefits District, described the bakery as an important spot for Mount Vernon neighbors, who he said do not have enough spaces to gather, work and share ideas.

Souza referred to Charles Street as a business community still recovering from the pandemic, and Roggenart’s entry into the neighborhood as an invigorating addition.

“We’re so happy to be welcomed here,” Popov said before christening the new space with an abnormally large croissant.

The bakery, whose name in German translates to “the art of rye,” will be offering customers its signature cheesy breakfast sandwiches, pastries and assortment of coffee roasts.

Roggenart showcases an array of croissants in its new location. (Matti Gellman)

Next door to Roggenart, the office development expects to welcome another restaurant tenant into a 2,500-square-foot space. Last year the Roman bistro Allora intended to move into the space as an anchor tenant, with owner Brendon Hudson calling it a “full-circle” moment for the LGBTQ-owned eatery, according to an interview with The Banner in May. But the move was called off months later.

Grand Central, a longtime gay bar and nightclub that previously occupied the space for more than 30 years, closed as the pandemic began to ravage businesses in the area in 2020. The space was purchased shortly after by Landmark Partners, a private equity fund, ushering in the construction of City House Charles.

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