Get ready for a donut battle in Wicker Park. Venerable Chicago bread company Labriola Baking is partnering with Southern California's Stan's Donuts to open a location in the former Skewerz space, which is right across Damen Avenue from the Glazed and Infused on the backside of Francesca's Forno, Steve Dolinsky reports. Stan's Donuts Chicago will hold 20 seats, as opposed to the Glazed & Infused which is just a takeout window.
Donut shops are much more common in L.A., but Chicago is certainly seeing a donut boom. Glazed and Infused has expanded to multiple locations, the latest coming to the Marriott River North in a partnership with Davanti Enoteca. Do-Rite, The Doughnut Vault, and Firecakes are other artisan donut shops in town.
Rich Labriola says he wants his to be a "true doughnut/coffee shop," also saying his "partner is a true coffee guy." The location will feature yeast-raised and cake donuts in "simple flavors," which is different from Glazed & Infused, which currently sells off-the-wall varieties like "the bar snack." Let the battle begin.
·Labriola Bringing Stan's Donuts To Chicago [SteveDolinsky.com]
·All Glazed & Infused Coverage [-ECHI-]
[UPDATE: Reached by phone, Rich Labriola clarified his upcoming donut shop's involvement with Labriola Baking, which he sold the majority of the stakes of last month. Labriola says he still holds 20 percent ownership of the company and is heavily involved in day-to-day operations. Labriola Baking, Labriola Cafe (which he still holds complete ownership of), and the Chicago Stan's Donuts are intertwined, he says.
He also added more information on the donut shop. He says the target opening date is mid-October, he hopes to create a "Stan's brand" of coffee, as well as employ guest roasters. The shop will stay open late to cater to the Wicker Park crowd.
He says the close proximity will benefit both Stan's Donuts and Glazed & Infused. "(Glazed & Infused) will be more successful because we're across the street," he says.
Finally, Labriola says this is just the first Stan's Donuts in Chicago. He already has a second location picked out but declines to give the exact address because he hasn't signed the lease yet. He says it's near Northwestern Hospital and hopes to open it in a year.]