Lost Larson’s much anticipated new location is open in Wicker Park. The bakery debuted just before the new year to lines of fans willing to brave the chill for flaky chocolate croissants and moist carrot cake. Owner Bobby Schaffer says the bakery entirely sold out on opening day, Wednesday, December 30 at 2140 W. Division Street.
Schaffer opened his first location in 2018 with a chip on a shoulder, eager to show Andersonville that better pastries exist beyond what’s sold at corporate coffeeshops. Schaffer, who worked at Michelin-starred restaurants Grace and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Upstate New York, was pleased with the Wicker Park launch: “[The] only surprise was the weather being so snowy and people still coming out to support!” he writes.
Wicker Park staff has carried over a procedure that’s worked well on the Clark Street by taking orders using a microphone system from behind a clear plastic barrier for contactless communication with customers on Division Street’s wide sidewalk. Masked workers step outside to quickly deposit orders on a table in the cafe’s doorway before retreating to the indoor space.
Fans will recognize the majority of the new cafe’s Scandinavian-influenced menu, from loaves of limpa and seeded spelt to princess cake and cinnamon rolls. Schaffer is holding off on introducing the menu of smørrebrød (Danish open-face sandwiches), but also indicated that he may test out some new items. The beverage menu, however, remains, featuring coffee and espresso from local roaster Half Wit, along with tea and seasonal options like a peppermint matcha latte.
Schaffer isn’t ready to welcome customers inside the Division Street space because of the pandemic, but he’s excited to show it off when officials restart indoor dining. The 1,000-square-foot cafe bears a photo-friendly Danish modern look and will seat 14 inside with counter stools and bistro tables, plus 16 more on an outdoor patio.
Schaffer had to push back the opening slightly from his original goal of December 19. He’s excited to be serving a broader range of customers again, as operations are paused at his food hall stall at Time Out Market Chicago, which is temporarily closed on Fulton Market due to the pandemic. Schaffer wants to remain at the hall when it eventually reopens, he says.
Both Andersonville and Wicker Park locations are taking a short winter break until Friday and will resume regular hours Saturday. In the interim, customers can reserve their favorite treats and place online pre-orders for pickup or delivery.
There’s no shortage of options for baked goods and coffee along Division Street, but no bakery or coffeeshop offers Lost Larson’s pedigree. Wicker Park can start 2021 with a carb overload, as Lost Larson’s new location is open.
Lost Larson Wicker Park, 2140 W. Division Street, Reopens Saturday, January 9, Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.