Amelie’s All Night

Amelie's is bringing a little SoHo to NoDa. Inspired by an all-hours bakery in New York City, Amelie's went 24/7 in mid-January, and the French bakery hasn't locked its door since. "The minute we started, the response was phenomenal," co-owner Lynn St. Laurent says. "We have not had a quiet moment."

With its antique furniture and bohemian chandeliers, Amelie's offers a laid-back space where people feel comfortable hanging out for hours at a time and indulging in rich desserts, homemade soups, and sandwiches. "I was up here last Saturday until 4 in the morning," Pat Mawn says while eating a ham, Gruyère cheese, and garlic sauce tartine on a recent Friday night. "This place is awesome. The city needed something like this."

Gallery crawlers, artists, writers, third-shift workers, and even postmeeting AA groups are among the bakery's new late-night customers. Amelie's is also a common destination for date nights and has seen three marriage proposals since opening in May 2008. "We're two for three," boasts co-owner Bill Lamb.

St. Laurent and Lamb create a friendly environment by introducing themselves to every new customer and hugging regulars. When people walk in and stare, awe struck, at the display cases, Lamb immediately begins giving a tour of the tarts, mousse cups, petits fours, brownies, croissants, macaroons, and tea cakes.

With the new 24/7 schedule, Amelie's chefs bake around the clock, ensuring fresh products at all hours.

Croissants -- one of the most popular items—are made six times on Saturdays and three times a day during the week, says head pastry chef Kelly Stegenga. Amelie's hired extra staff to cover the night and early-morning shifts and plans to add customer seating in the building's atrium to keep up with demand.

St. Laurent says the new business hours have required one final ingredient though. "Red Bull is a regular thing now that we're 24/7."

2424 N. Davidson St. (704-376-1781) $, BF, L, D.

Categories: Local Flavor