A new specialty bakery and coffee shop is slated to open tomorrow (Sat. Nov. 15) on East Bay Street in the old O’Hara & Flynn spot. Baked Charleston is the second location for Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who also have a Baked in Brooklyn, N.Y. and a new cookbook by the same name out too.  I spoke with Matt Lewis a little while ago and he told me that they should be open tomorrow, he’s just got to get the paperwork finalized this afternoon.

[image-1]They had a preview party the other night, and a couple of attendees reported back that the place is very cool and the baked goods are delish. I’m sorry I missed the unveiling. Lewis says they’ve completely redone the space, eschewing the traditional coffee shop shabby chic (ie. slouchy couches) for a modern, urban approach. They’ve got free wifi, of course, and he promises the best coffee drinks in Charleston. “We’re serving Stumptown Coffee from Portland — honestly the best coffee in the country,” says Lewis, “We’re really gonna work on that, having the best lattes and coffee drinks in town.”[image-2]

Lewis promises that we’ll love Baked. “We make everything here daily, a full range of breakfast — scones, quiche, loaves, and then we move into afternoon fare with cupcakes and cookies.”

Their most famous and intriguing specialty is the Sweet and Salty Cake — a dark chocolate cake with two different types of caramel between the layers and caramel buttercream on top. Yum. Could Chef Robert Carter’s coconut cake at Peninsula Grill suddenly have a contender for best cake in town? I’ll be stopping by this weekend to find out.

Lewis plans to be in town about once a month or so to check in on the operation, but knows that it’s in good hands. His father Larry Lewis, proprietor of the before-its-time 11 Center Street on Folly Beach, will be managing the store, and chef Patrick Panella has moved down from Brooklyn to oversee the kitchen.

For starters, they’ll be open weekdays from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends. Hours are subject to change based on traffic patterns. I predict they’ll have to stay open later that 11 p.m. on the weekends because — get this — they have cake flights! Now that’s the kind of tasting I can find time for.