July 31, 2019 – Danish bakery Ole & Steen recently celebrated the grand opening of its third United States location with a 3,880-square-foot store at 80 West 40th Street in historic Bryant Park Studios. The turn-of-the-century 1901 building has been owned and managed by affiliates of Mountain Development Corp. (MDC) since 1979.
A pioneer in the resurgence of artisanal and handcrafted baking practices in Denmark, Ole & Steen offers modern takes on traditional Danish sweets, cakes, pastries and savory dishes in friendly environments with a sense of “hygge” and hospitality. The chain was founded in Denmark in 1991 by bakers Ole Kristoffersen and Steen Skallebaek.
“This location was very attractive to us for a couple of reasons,” said Gabriel Sorgi, Ole & Steen’s director of U.S. operations. “First, it is arguably one of the best locations in the Bryant Park area. Second, it is a beautiful and historic property that fits well with our company’s style. Once we met with the building’s ownership, an instant connection was made, and we knew this would be the start of a great long-term relationship.”
Outfitted in sleek Danish style with Jura grey stone countertops, blackened brass accents and modern light fixtures, Ole & Steen’s Bryant Park Studios’ store has seating for up to 62 guests, which includes a 225-square-foot mezzanine area. It is open throughout the day, offering coffee, salads, soups and open-faced sandwiches, along with its signature breads, pastries and cakes. Due to this location’s proximity to Bryant Park, picnic baskets are available for patrons’ “grab and go” convenience.
The location marks the expansion of the Danish bakery in the United States following previous openings in Midtown Manhattan and Union Square. The stores join more than 100 Ole & Steen bakeries currently in operation throughout Denmark and the United Kingdom.
Iconic Building Draws Visionary Tenants
Bryant Park Studios was designed in the Beaux-Arts style originally to serve as artists’ residences and working studios. Home to a unique assemblage of inspired and imaginative occupants, Ole & Steen’s newest New York City store adds a sophisticated and welcoming presence on the ground floor of the building, according to Michael Seeve, MDC president.
“We are committed to filling each space at Bryant Park Studios with great brands, products and entrepreneurs,” said Seeve. “Ole & Steen is an innovative company that shares an appreciation for the unique architecture and design elements that make this building so special. Collaborating with them gave us the opportunity to do something great with a premier corner space that had been leased for about 30 years. Ole & Steen is a perfect match for what we have created here, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the building.”
For more than 100 years, Bryant Park Studios has been home to some of New York City’s most storied and creative artists and professionals from Norman Rockwell, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, Fernand Léger, Florine Stettheimer and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney to Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne. Current and former tenants include Alice + Olivia, Francis Valentine, Vince, White + Warren, Joie, Seven for All Mankind, Peach & Lily, Diesel, Rag & Bone, Trina Turk, Rebecca Taylor, Nick Graham, Theory, L’Agence, David Lerner among other leading brands.