Brentwood’s Cafe Röckenwagner Bites the Dust

The neighborhood loses Hans Röckenwagner’s pretzel burger and pastries

Remember all of those glorious pastries at Hans Röckenwagner’s Brentwood cafe, which opened last year in a snazzy new mixed-used building on Wilshire? It was a big deal when the sunny, bright restaurant began serving in January 2014, not only for the growing Röckenwagner empire and the neighborhood having more access to pretzel burgers, but also for pastry chef Cesar Bermudez, who headlined the dessert menu after working with The Bazaar by José Andrés. He was making treats like tarte tropezienne, lemon bars, and chocolate bombs, but sadly Bermudez left to head back to Spain last summer. The cafe carried on until now: Cafe Röckenwagner quietly closed a couple weeks ago.

It’s not like the chef isn’t busy. His cookbook, Das Cookbook: German Cooking…California Style, is still on the bookshelves, and his other locations remain open: Röckenwagner Bakery & Cafe in Culver City, and 3 Square Cafe and Rockenwagner Bakery in Venice, as well as the farmers market stands across town.

Though we were always fond of the interior, the exterior was a little lacking—specifically the signage made it hard to make out that the restaurant was actually there. While there are plenty of apartments within walking distance, the next tenant may need to appeal more to the lunch-time crowds in the nearby office buildings. Who’s up to the challenge?