Is Marius Pop ever satisfied? The owner of the Pearl District's Nuvrei bakery and cafe added his downstairs French macaron-centric Mac Bar in January 2014. Then last January he closed for a few weeks to add seating and spiff things up. Just a few months later, he's done it again. Eat Beat reports the upstairs cafe has a sleek new look that's more in line with Mac Bar's mod aesthetic, but it also has a totally revamped menu with a new, much more intense emphasis on pastries.
First of all, the pretzel bread and bagel sandwiches are gone, though not for good. To get one you'll have to wait until Pop opens his second, more lunch-oriented Nuvrei cafe in the US Bancorp Tower this summer.
In their place, Pop has added sweet and savory Danishes, a lineup of 8 different croissants with doughs customized for the fillings, and mini canneles in a rotation of flavors (like pistachio and lemon) served piled in paper cups. A variety of eclairs are coming soon, including one flavored with violets.
Pop tells Eat Beat's Kelly Clarke that he felt his wholesale accounts and lunch menu had pulled too much focus away from his pastry program. So he's "digging deeper" into each pastry, experimenting, pushing boundaries and making a bid to be the "pastry mecca of Portland."
If you swing by to check out the changes today (Friday, May 22), Pop is celebrating the reopening by giving away free rose-water-scented croissants from noon to 5 p.m., or until they're gone.