“To see what's happened in seven and a half years kind of blows my mind sometimes,” says Keturah Fleming, co-owner of La Fillette Bakery. On February 12, the eatery temporarily closed its doors at 4416 East Eighth Avenue as it moved from its longtime Hilltop neighborhood location to a new spot on East 14th Avenue and Krameria Street; the new space is set to open soon, pending final inspections by the city.
“There’s not a lot in Montclair for sit-down [dining],” explains Fleming. “We’re expecting to be busy, and we’re excited, because we were bursting at the seams. The other space just wasn’t set up for a restaurant.”
Despite its small size, La Fillette has always made an impressive number of menu items in-house, from bread and croissants to duck confit and sausages. Fleming also mentions that La Fillette had a few tables, but they were removed during the pandemic because of dine-in restrictions. Since then, it has strictly offered takeout service.
“We missed the interaction between our regulars, so we tried to find a [new] place that was super close in the community,” says Fleming, adding that the bakery is only about a mile from its former location. “We’ve been telling [regulars] we’re moving for a minute, and I would say 50 percent of them are like, ‘That’s closer,’ so that was really encouraging. They’re just so supportive and excited for us.”
Fleming continues, “We’re super excited to be able to plate food, too,” and confirms that the bakery will serve all of its previous menu items. “We’re going to try to stay true to what we do, which is make beautiful French pastry with some twists.”
its build-your-own breakfast sandwiches. Other creations include build-your-own omelets, lunch sandwiches, soups, quiche and a variety of pastries, like eclairs, macarons and kouign-amann.
Once it reopens, customers can also look forward to new options. Fleming hints at the possibility of Benedicts, French toast and a traditional breakfast plate with eggs and hash browns. La Fillette also recently purchased an espresso machine, and to complete the brunch vibe, it will serve alcoholic beverages. “We got our liquor license a couple of months ago,” says Fleming. “We’re going to do a bunch of cool cocktails. We’ll do mimosas, Aperol spritz and some limited wine options.”
She adds, “We’re probably going to start with canned beer, [and] are teaming up with Cerebral Brewing because we love them and they’re in the hood.”
As for hours, Fleming says, “We’re going to start off with our normal [hours], 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.-ish, until we get everything under control and make sure that our guests are getting the best of us. And then, as we get comfortable in our bigger space, in full service and liquor, we’re going to add some happy hour options on the weekends.”
As a longtime hospitality pro herself, Fleming hopes that La Fillette can become an everyday brunch spot for those in the industry. "We're always working on the weekends," she explains. “For people who have different jobs that [aren’t] Monday through Friday, nine to five, it’ll give them a place to hang out.”
The new bakery will also have a patio space and a large community table inside, along with plenty of other seating — all in all, it can seat up to 65 people. The new space has plenty of parking as well, and while the focus will be on dining in, online ordering will still be available for to-go orders.
An official reopening date has yet to be announced, but Fleming hopes to welcome guests as soon as this week. She says that the bakery’s Instagram account is the best way to get the latest updates.
"I think it’s going to be a really warm, communal place," she concludes. "And especially if you’re in the industry and you don’t get to do the brunch vibes, you can do it here.”