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The Pretzel Bakery is upgrading to a larger space with calzones and cheese bombs

The Pretzel Bakery is moving from its current takeaway location to an 18-seat cafe up the street. (Photo courtesy the Pretzel Bakery.)

After operating out of a tiny kitchen for more than three years, the Pretzel Bakery will soon move from its Dutch-door takeaway operation to a counter-service cafe. In January, owner Sean Haney will shutter the bakery's original location at 15th and D streets SE and move up the block toward C Street, where a 2,000-square-foot space will fit 18 seats inside and offer additional seating outdoors.

The upgrade means the Hill East bakery will nearly double its kitchen size, giving Haney enough space to add new items to his concise menu, which currently includes three varieties of hand-rolled pretzels, dips, a breakfast slider and a Nutella-stuffed pretzel bomb. "When you’re working out of 400 square feet, you can't do everything you want to do," he says.

In his bigger space, Haney will craft a pretzel dough calzone filled with either pepperoni or prosciutto and a savory version of his Nutella roll called a cheese bomb. Once he's settled in, he plans to expand his menu even further with sandwiches, espresso, beer and wine. The move will also foster the growth of his wholesale and catering arm.

Slow growth isn't a new concept for the Philadelphia native. A former project manager for Verizon who graduated from Penn State with a degree in hospitality management, Haney started making pretzels from home as a hobby. Before long, he was working in his kitchen all day just to sell two dozen pretzels to his friends. In 2012, he opened the bakery's current space with a basic menu and slowly began adding specialty offerings, like the pretzel bomb, to the list. "We want to keep the same mentality in the new space," he says.

Existing customers will still get the first-name basis treatment in a family friendly environment, and if all goes well, Haney says they'll also get a long-awaited pairing: "Everyone will get the beer and pretzel that they want."

The Pretzel Bakery, 257 15th St. SE.