One of the most beloved bakeries in New York City is opening a new location far away from its home state. Levain Bakery plans to debut in Chicago, setting up shop in the former home of Maude’s Liquor Bar in the West Loop’s Restaurant Row.
This will be the brand’s first location outside of the East Coast, following Levain’s expansion from New York City into Washington, DC and Boston. Co-founders Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes had been eyeing Chicago for a new location for some time.
“We spent a couple of years making trips to Chicago, trying to get to know neighborhoods and spaces, and it felt like a place where we could come and join a community and really be part of the neighborhood,” says Weekes.
In recent years, Levain has been focused on expansion, including selling its famous six-ounce cookies in supermarkets. The brand’s take-and-bake cookies first made their debut at Texas-based grocery chain Central Market, and have since been made available at Whole Foods among other retailers.
Levain hopes to open its Chicago location in the summer, joining an already-crowded field in the local baking scene.