One of Bed-Stuy’s favorite neighborhood bakeries and bread counters is indeed returning — if owner Matthew Tilden can find one more investor. After several months of hint-dropping on the restaurant’s social media pages, Tilden confirmed that his shuttered cult-favorite Scratchbread will return as Seven Grain Army.
Details on the new restaurant are still scarce — Tilden sent more than one zipper-mouth emoji over the course of his direct message conversation with Eater — but Seven Grain Army is in Brooklyn, with hopes to open in 2020. And in addition to its famed bourbon wheat, the new spot will serve many of the hits that earned Scratchbread its cult-like following, including pizza bread, sticky buns, and grits. The menu, though, will be bigger.
Tilden tells Eater that he’s “poised and ready” to open Seven Grain Army as soon as he gets another $100,000 of capital to get off the ground — no small chunk of change for a one-man neighborhood operation. Even so, Tilden appears to already have a Brooklyn storefront picked out with a bread counter and, true to the original, a walk-up window for to-go orders.
The beloved bakery and restaurant first announced that it would be closing back in October of 2015, more than five years after the bakery opened on the corners of Bedford and Lexington Avenues. In a newsletter formatted as a 42-line poem, Tilden said that despite the bakery’s massive popularity, he had been struggling to get by behind the scenes.
“I was paying rent in focaccia when I began,” he wrote at the time. “Small business is a brutal, endless beating if you can’t get ahead. Just one investor would have changed everything. Now, I’ve got more debt than three lifetimes.”
Now, it seems that Scratchbread could be back before year’s end. As recently as January 8, Tilden had posted a photo of bourbon wheat, short bread, and an array of homemade sides donning the original Scratchbread label to the bakery’s Facebook account.