Pastry chef Bobby Schaffer has traded his world of plated desserts at fine dining restaurants for the life of running his own neighborhood bakery and cafe. Schaffer, the former executive pastry chef at three-Michelin-starred Grace, will soon open Lost Larson and share his love of European-style breads with Andersonville. After the bakery opens, his late nights working at fine-dining restaurants will officially be exchanged for 4 a.m. arrivals to start baking.
Schaffer’s shooting for a Wednesday, June 13 opening at the former Goddess and the Grocer space at 5318 N. Clark Street; a preview could happen sooner. Along with sister and Lost Larson GM Bree Schaffer, they’ll supply the neighborhood with baked goods, open-faced sandwiches, and espresso and specialty drinks. In keeping with Andersonville’s Swedish history, they’ll serve a few inspired items including a lingonberry lemonade. The drink could be ideal to enjoy while sitting on the space’s 20-seat patio. There are 20 more seats inside.
The bakery is meant to showcase local flours from the Midwest. Schaffer talked about how freshly-milled flours unleash richer flavors few Chicagoans experience: “The coffee shop down the street is getting stuff off a truck baked 24 hours ago,” he said.
Schaffer learned more about bread baking at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a Michelin-starred restaurant that’s a 90-minute drive north from New York City. Schaffer wants to make sure his ovens can give customers fresh-baked goods at all times of the day. The bread will start coming out of the oven around 10 a.m. daily and they’ll have four to five rotating loaves. Schaffer raved about 100-percent whole grain wheat bread. They’re all sourdough based — but not sour — Schaffer pointed out.
Another passion of Schaffer’s is chocolate, a love that grew in Barcelona while working at Oriol Balaguer, a pastry shop in Spain. They’ll have a limited offering of chocolates at Lost Larson. Bree Schaffer worked at Stumptown Coffees and she’ll bring her barista prowess with her to Lost Larson.
Andersonville residents still bemoan the loss of Swedish Bakery, which closed in February 2017 on Clark Street. While Lost Larson respects the area history, Schaffer isn’t trying to open Swedish Bakery II. Don’t expect paczkis: “We don’t have a frier,” Schaffer said.
Check back later in the week for a sneak peek inside the bakery.