Au revoir patisserie, hello bakeshop

The news came as a sudden shock: September 30 was the final day of business for Delanghe Patisserie at the corner of Fillmore and Bush. After 26 years of buttery croissants and mini eclairs, finis. It seemed impossible to the Francophiles who loved the place and the locals for whom it was always there. No notice! Not even a chance to say goodbye!

On October 1 the keys went to Elena Basegio and her dad, Doug Basegio. Work commenced with a fury. On October 21, the Fillmore Bakeshop opened.

At first, the reaction was wary. “People were coming in saying, basically, “So where are they?” as if we’d taken over their place and buried them out back,” said Elena Basegio.

The father-daughter team of Swiss bakers approached Dominique Delanghe last spring. Talks were start-and-stop. They weren’t sure until early September he was actually retiring and the deal was going through.

“There was a lot of trepidation among the customers during the remodeling,” she said. “As much as people were mourning for Delanghe, things began to change when we opened and people saw we mean it. We’re the real thing, too.”

After only a few days in business, they’re now being welcomed by the neighborhood. “It feels so good,” Elena Basegio says, “to be in such a big city and have it feel like such a small town. I’m surprised no one’s brought us a casserole yet.”

She lives only a few blocks down Bush Street from the bakery — a good thing, since she gets up long before sunrise to start baking, just as Delanghe did.

“I don’t think he realized how much people loved this place,” said Doug Basegio.

But he learned. At a neighborhood dinner party a few days after they closed, Dominique and Marie-Jeanne Delanghe acknowledged how touched they were by the outpouring of affection when the neighbors learned they were retiring. Before leaving for their second home on the Ile St. Louis in Paris, Dominique left a note: “During the last few days of Patisserie Delanghe it was difficult to be cynical and tough due to the overwhelming response from all of you. Thank you San Francisco and each of you for 26 years of support.”

Marie-Jeanne and Dominique Delanghe on their final day at Patisserie Delanghe.