Oddly, the only two times I've ever eaten at a Corner Bakery in my life have been on the two trips I took to Chicago. The place was close to the hotel on both visits, good for early morning breakfast runs before heading back to O'Hare. I say "oddly" because Corner Bakery is actually a Texas restaurant chain, based in Dallas (the birthplace of more chain restaurants than you probably realize).
I'm apparently not the only Texan who's never eaten at a Corner Bakery, because the company has announced a grand campaign to head back to Texas and take its home state by storm. At a time when many restaurants are struggling and just as many are closing their doors, Corner Bakery has experienced record sales in the last year. How to celebrate? Well, by opening 19 location in Houston to start.
But much more expansion is planned beyond that.
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According to a press release sent out last week, Corner Bakery is opening at least 50 more stores in the next year in addition to the 22 that already exist throughout Texas. Currently, that includes the only two in Houston -- one in West University and one downtown.
Over the next eight years, 19 more Corner Bakeries are planned for Houston. Additional stores are also planned for San Antonio, East Texas (Tyler is moving up in the world!) and El Paso. (Don't jump all over me for that Tyler jab, by the way; East Texans can make fun of their own all we want.)
And what of Corner Bakery's offerings themselves? I've enjoyed the cozy atmosphere both times I've gone -- and I'm imagining, as a chain, they're all roughly the same in that respect -- as well as the food. It's fast-casual, to be sure. But it's good for what it is, especially the made-to-order breakfast scrambles.
Corner Bakery is also trying to bring back the old-fashioned Whoopee Pie, and for that, they're permanently endeared to me.