The effort to expand brand name food options in the House continues, with Au Bon Pain opening in the Cannon House Office Building next week.
The cafe, which will serve sandwiches, breads, pastries, salads, soups and coffee, will be on the first floor of Cannon in room 194. The location will be open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will employ about 16 people. The location will be under the management umbrella of Sodexo, the food service contractor for the House.
“We are honored to serve the hard-working members and staff at U.S. House of Representatives and their guests. We hope the excitement around Au Bon Pain will make the fast-casual bakery café a popular dining destination at the Cannon House Office Building,” said Brett Ladd, CEO Government, North America, Sodexo. “We look forward to adding more well-known brands to give customers additional dining options.”
Early in 2018, the House Chief Administrative Office surveyed the House community on food services, and the 2,431 respondents indicated interest in both cafeteria-style and branded food options. D.C.-based &pizza opened in February in the Rayburn Building and restaurant chain Steak ’n Shake is set to join the expanding food options on the House side of the Capitol, with a location coming to Rayburn later this year.
Roll Call first reported that Au Bon Pain would be coming to the House in January.
“We are pleased to welcome Au Bon Pain as the latest addition to our on-campus eateries. This is the second of four new, permanent branded options the CAO is bringing to the House this year at the request of Members and staff who work long hours and need quality and convenient food options,” said House Chief Administrative Officer Philip G. Kiko in a statement.
The addition of Au Bon Pain will test the market for coffee and pastries in the House office buildings, competing with Dunkin’ in Longworth and the traditional cafeteria offerings in the Rayburn cafeteria. Fans of the Au Bon Pain chain will now have options on both sides of Capitol Hill because there is also a cafe in Union Station.