Hometown hero Renee Erickson continues to expand her popular Capitol Hill doughnut and coffee shop, General Porpoise, recently opening an Amazon-only outpost (along with sandwich shop and salad counter Rana e Rospo) in South Lake Union, prepping a leap to Los Angeles for this year, and now finalizing a Pioneer Square location for March 19. Thanks to a tipster for checking in about the progress of the latest shop, which was first announced via the company’s newsletter last month.
General Porpoise, known for its luscious sugar-coated doughnuts oozing with fillings like lemon curd, strawberry rhubarb jam, and vanilla custard, is opening at 401 1st Ave. S in the Merrill Building, at the corner of 1st Ave. S and S Jackson St. With 30 seats, the shop will serve the pastries fans have come to know and love from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as rotating specialty coffees selected by store manager Reed McCoy — a bit of a change from the original locale, which offers roasted beans from Portland’s Heart, Denver’s Sweet Bloom, and a couple others.
The new shop’s next-door neighbor is Flora and Henri, the home of bespoke products for children, women, and home, whose bright, airy, whimsical aesthetic perfectly suits Erickson’s. Jeremy Price — co-owner of Erickson’s Sea Creatures group and the duo’s design firm, Price Erickson — said to expect soaring, large-timber ceilings, white brick walls, a meeting room, and a marching troop of papered-elephant lanterns by local artist Jeffry Mitchell, as well as massive windows to let in light and show off the interior. Sounds like The London Plane will have competition for the title of Pioneer Square’s most attractive bakery.
Erickson is certainly keeping busy: The chef, who won an Eater Award and a James Beard award in 2016 and is a semifinalist this year for the Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef award, is also working on a bar inspired by high-end Manhattan hotels and a restaurant calling back to Erickson’s time spent in Italy; both projects are also coming this spring or summer to SLU and are as-yet unnamed.