Hill Center’s Historic Carriage House
Historic rehabilitation of the Carriage House
Chef David Guas opened Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in the historic carriage house on the Hill Center campus in spring 2015.
A renowned chef whose muff-a-lottas were named one of the Best Sandwiches in the U.S. by Food & Wine Magazine, Guas is a regular guest on the Today Show and is the host and co-judge of American Grilled on the Travel Channel. This is his first venture in DC and the second Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery for Guas, whose first location is in Arlington, VA.
Full of Southern character and casual appeal, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery is a downhome, Southern eatery that will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring seasonal choices. With savory comfort fare, signature desserts, and superior and sustainable coffees from around the world, its operating style and ambiance fully complements the high-quality, family-friendly and vibrant offerings that the community values at Hill Center.
“The addition of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in the carriage house was the final step in the historic rehabilitation of the Old Naval Hospital campus and completes the original vision for Hill Center, culminating over a decade of work by the Capitol Hill community,” says Guy Martin, president of the Old Naval Hospital Foundation, which founded and governs Hill Center. “The collaboration gives us an even more inviting campus, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather for meetings, lectures, performances, gallery exhibitions, or other events, or simply enjoy a meal with their neighbors.”
As with the Old Naval Hospital’s main building, rehabilitation of the carriage house respected the site’s history and heritage. The 19th century interior maintains many of its original elements including the original exposed brick walls and floors, as well as hay and grain chutes. The Old Naval Hospital, commissioned by President Lincoln in 1864 to care for wounded Civil War sailors, has a rich and varied history prior to its development as Hill Center, a vibrant home for culture, arts and education. The site’s carriage house served as a stable in the era when the Naval Hospital relied on horse-drawn ambulances.
“The Old Naval Hospital Foundation was diligent in its search for the right operator to revitalize the carriage house and we believe that chef David Guas and his team are excellent stewards of its history,” Martin continues. “Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery is exactly what we had been looking for – family-friendly, reasonably priced, great food, and open all day. Getting an award-winning, nationally-known chef and TV personality is a bonus!”