Tous Les Jours, a Korean bakery from the same company which owns chicken wing specialists Bonchon, is opening a location in Wicker Park. The bakery has locations in Chinatown as well as in suburban Glenview, Naperville, Schaumburg, and Vernon Hills. It’s a French-Asian bakery with cakes, laminated pastries like croissants, and egg salad and BLT sandwiches. Store owner Richard Kim said they’re planning an early April opening at 1726 W. Division Street.
The chain started in 1988. It arrived stateside in 2004 and they now have more than 1,300 stores worldwide. There’s a constantly changing menu. Kim singled out the soboro pastry, which is like a Korean streusel stuffed with cream. He compared the texture to a cupcake at Sweet Mandy B’s, the Lincoln Park bakery.
The Wicker Park location is different from the previous five Chicago-area locations as it’s not in the middle of a large Asian population, Kim said. For example, the Schaumburg bakery is near H Mart, the Korean supermarket. At the same time, there are an increasing number of Korean-owned businesses in the neighborhood including Bonchon, Iron Age Korean Steakhouse, and Kimchi Pop.
“it’s just a coincidence for me,” Kim said. “I wanted to do something on Division for the longest time.”
Kim likened the brand in South Korea to Starbucks, saying stores are all over the country. The Starbucks connection was also loosely made by Fooditor in its guide to new Chinatown restaurants, as the publication compared Tour Les Jours to Princi, Starbucks’s own bakery spinoff.
Now that the bakery’s catering to a different customer base in Wicker Park, a neighborhood that has many coffee shops, Kim said he’ll step up the coffee selections at this location. The chain’s in the middle of transitioning to a new coffee supplier, Dillanos. Tea and kombucha will also be available.
Kim worked for restaurateur Billy Dec as he managed Sunda in River North. He’s excited to share a bit of his Korean culture with Chicago. Stay tuned for updates.