Design District coffeehouse and wine bar Ascension has some expansion plans brewing, with a second branch slated to open at the Crescent in spring 2015. Ascension will take a 2,900-square-foot space next to the Bank of America offices at the 200 lobby fronting the motor court.
According to Ascension founder Russell Hayward, the Crescent location will have a menu similar to the Design District original, with full-service breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner. It will offer the same coffees but may have a larger wine list, as well as extended hours.
According to a release, the Crescent location will be about 50 percent bigger than the Design District's, with a variety of seating options — tables, bars, "nooks and crannies" for every kind of English muffin, oops, I mean customer — as well as a large, tree-shaded patio area and doors that open to the outside. Those are the best kinds of doors.
Hayward's inspiration reads classic Hayward: He conducted extensive research traveling to many European cities before finding inspiration from an old friend, a well-known French artist who has sold his works on the streets of Paris for more than 40 years. Monet? Manet? Toulouse-Lautrec? The release, eet does not say.
Despite the French artist inspiration, Hayward says it won't be a Parisian cafe but will instead pay homage to the cafe society found throughout Europe. So much for that French artist!
Hayward also plans to debut a new bread called "pane aria" that's described as being "so different it will change your perception of panini." I don't know about you, but my perception of panini is locked in stone. It would take a lot for me to think differently about panini.
The release says it took him seven months to track down a renowned Spanish baker — who also remains nameless, tres soupçonneux — with whom he collaborated to create the "highly protected" recipe. Armed guards, one hopes.
"We're incredibly excited to bring Ascension to the Crescent, which we believe is the pinnacle of Uptown," Hayward says. "We can't think of a better place to expand our brand. Ascension means to rise to a higher level, and we're all about elevating the coffee experience from start to finish — from the farmers who grow our coffee to the people we serve."