Pie Bird Bakery and Cafe to Serve Up Breakfast, Lunch in Transamerica Building
January 28, 2015
by Joshua Levine
For the past 18 months or so, Maren Bell and Will Moyer have been hard at work. They’ve been renovating the space on the ground floor of the Transamerica building at 177 N. Church Ave., converting the storefront that was once home to Arizona Bagel and Deli into a wide open, expansive eatery — including the demolition of the back wall into a gorgeous dining room with a spectacular fixture made out of rolling pins.
This off-kilter sensibility belies the nature of Bell and Moyer’s vision for their Pie Bird Bakery And Cafe, which opens for full service on Tuesday, Feb. 3. This is Bell’s first foray into the restaurant business; she had previously had a successful catering company that she ran from home. One of her clients introduced her to Moyer, a veteran of commercial kitchens who has also attended The Culinary Institute of New York.
“We wanted to make a place where you can come and sit down with your family and friends,” Bell says, referring to the new dining room. “We’ve worked really hard for the past year and a half opening up this space. It was Will, myself and an architect. … This is my first time doing this — I had a catering company that I ran out of my house but Will’s been to The Culinary Institute of New York and has been in a bunch of food magazines and has worked all over the place.
“I learned that the space was available through a client of mine,” she continues. “Will and I hooked up and decided to really make this happen.”
The two make a welcoming and cordial team: Bell’s favorite word when talking about Pie Bird seems to be “excited” and Moyer has a wicked and disarming sense of humor.
“Everything is made from scratch here,” Bell explains. When asked to narrow down some menu items she’s particularly proud of, she shrugs and says, “The sandwiches are really good, I’m really excited about the quiche, all the bakery items…”
It’s clear that a theme is developing.
Still, it appears that Bell is most excited about that aforementioned gorgeous dining room she and Moyer converted from a conference room. It’s nearly one thousand square feet and can accommodate up to 100 people. The whole bakery is bright and nearly translucent, but this area is where it really shines, and the perfect place to enjoy all those items on the menu that Bell is justifiably so excited about.