BATTERY PARK CITY — Powerhouse chef Francois Payard was set to open his newest bakery in Battery Park City last week — but the start date has been postponed while he waits for his landlord Goldman Sachs to install a phone line.
Payard — who earned the James Beard Foundation Oustanding Pastry Chef Award and has served as a guest judge on Bravo's "Top Chef" — said the international bank has not responded to his weeks of requests for a phone line in the small cafe, which sits at the base of Goldman's Battery Park City headquarters, at 210 Murray St.
"It's a disgrace," Payard said from his still-closed shop Tuesday morning, where freshly made macarons sat in unlit display cases.
"For three weeks, every week they say, 'next week,'" Payard continued. "It makes us look stupid."
Payard, 46, a French-born pastry chef who lives in Midtown, said he has spent hours calling Goldman Sachs representatives trying to figure out what the holdup is. As of Tuesday morning, he still hadn't gotten a clear answer on when he would get a phone.
"We are actively helping our tenant to sort out this issue," a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Neither the spokeswoman nor Payard could immediately say when the bakery would launch.
Although it's still not open, the new 850-square-foot Francois Payard Bakery, across from Battery Park City's new Shake Shack, has the cozy feeling of a neighborhood eatery and will offer an array of chocolates, tarts and éclairs, along with soups, salads and seasonally rotating sandwiches.
New menu items for the bakery include a rolled cheesecake with passion fruit in the center and a barbecued chicken sandwich that Payard hopes will be popular with nearby office workers.
The Downtown location is Payard's second bakery in New York.
The first, also called Francois Payard Bakery, opened last year on West Houston Street, and Payard previously ran the restaurant Payard on the Upper East Side, which closed in 2009 after 12 years.
He said he hopes to open more bakeries across the city in the future.
Payard explained that he picked Battery Park City for his bakery's second location after noticing how much the neighborhood has changed in recent years.
"Before it was almost like a ghost town, but a lot of families live here," he said.
"It's a great location — there are a lot of people in the [Goldman headquarters] building."
The marble floors and covered ceiling — in contrast with the exposed ductwork at the Houston Street location — give the Battery Park City café a more polished feeling that matches the neighborhood, Payard noted.
Once the bakery launches, it will be open from 6:30 or 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, the chef added.