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Lancaster company opens bloc of downtown businesses

A three-story building housing a bistro, bakery, event space and lounge opened the first week of August at 26 E. King St. in downtown Lancaster, bringing another establishment to the rejuvenated city block.

Bistro Barberet & Bakery and Altana Bar and Lounge are open to the public. The event space will be complete in about two weeks, according to property owner Ben Frank of Amalfi Properties.

With three separate businesses operating under the same ownership, the entity is named after its address: 26|East. It is located between Tellus360 and Annie Bailey’s, two Irish pubs.

Constructing the commercial space

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To make way for the new project, a long-vacant building that once stood on the property was torn down. It had been empty since 1996 when a Rite Aid store moved out. Cox Evans Architects and Amalfi Properties applied to demolish the old structure and rebuild a three-story commercial building in January 2014, according to planning commission meeting minutes.

After almost 18 months, the project is complete. With 3,500 square feet on each floor, the building houses a bistro and bakery on the first floor, event space on the second and a lounge on the third. The building has two kitchens, one for the bakery and one serving the bistro and the lounge.

Caldwell, Heckles and Egan Inc. of Lancaster did the construction. Frank declined to reveal the cost of the project.

A touch of France

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Cedric Barberet and his wife, Estelle, own and manage the bistro and bakery. Barberet, a native of France, met Frank through mutual acquaintances, and one thing led to another, joining the two in a business partnership that Barberet described as “very natural.”

Barberet most recently worked at Buddakan restaurant in Philadelphia as the executive pastry chef. Before that, he worked for Donald Trump at a restaurant on his private beach in Palm Beach, Fla.

Barberet interacted with the real estate mogul on a regular basis when he worked for him from 2002-2008, and he served as the executive pastry chef for Trump’s wedding to Melania Knauss.

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