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Former Wayfarer Pastry Chef Opening New Bakery

Knead will open as a fast-casual bistro with baked goods and gluten-free treats inside the Symphony Towers building
University Club chef Adrian Mendoza who is opening a new bakery and bistro in downtown San Diego called Knead Bakery
Courtesy of University Club

Adrian Mendoza is no stranger to early mornings. He’s worked as a pastry chef for years at places like Wayfarer Bread & Pastry, Herringbone, Herb & Wood, and Searsucker. But when he opens Knead on the ground floor of Symphony Towers this summer, he’ll be running the whole kitchen himself for the very first time.

He’s more than up for it—he estimates that during his time at Herringbone, they’d dish to 500 covers every Sunday. “It was crazy,” he laughs. But despite the breakneck pace of brunch, Mendoza has no interest in shifting back to dinner service, a realization he had in the early days of the pandemic.

People dining at the University Club in Downtown San Diego featuring picturesque view of the city and Coronado bridge
Courtesy of University Club

From the window at Wayfarer, he’d watch people line up around the block for a chance to snag some of the best pastries in the country. Even during the strictest lockdowns, people still sought comfort in his creations. That’s not something he took lightly. Plus, he adds, when his work day ends at 1 p.m. instead of 1 a.m., there’s time to exercise, see friends, and make a meal. “Time is really valuable,” he says, which is why he spends his doing what brings him joy: baking. From the first scoops of flour to the final egg wash, “it just clicks,” he adds.

Knead will operate as a fast-casual bistro, featuring plenty of baked goods and some gluten-free items. (“Our gluten-free focaccia is really, really good,” he promises.) Initially, hours will run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to cater to the corporate crowd, but Mendoza says they haven’t ruled out weekend brunch in the future. Until they do start laying down Saturday waffles, he’ll probably be enjoying them on his own.

I love brunch. [It’s] time you’re able to enjoy with your friends and family,” he says. “What better thing to do than go out and have breakfast together?”

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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