After Mindy Segal closed her Bucktown restaurant in April 2020, ending a 15-year run, she and her staff began selling bagels, cookies, babka, and more on Saturday mornings, shifting to a takeout-only operation at the newly empty storefront. Segal’s staff hauled out shelving where the restaurant’s waiting area once existed, and customers on the sidewalk would peer through the windows and select what baked goods they’d take home. It was an operation similar to Segal’s former stall at Revival Food hall.
Long lines routinely stretched along Damen Avenue early Saturday mornings. If customers snoozed, they lost, as quantities were limited. The new business model allowed Segal, a James Beard Award winner, to extricate herself from the daily grind of running a restaurant, while giving other staffers, notably longtime cohort Bo Durham, a chance for a larger role.
With little press, the long lines made their way to Milwaukee Avenue — still in Bucktown — as Segal attempted a stealth opening in early August for Mindy’s Bakery, inside the former Red Hen Bakery and Pork & Mindy’s space. Segal has a larger kitchen to keep up with demand. Coffee cake and other treats won’t sell out as easily at the new bakery, but make no mistake, late sleepers will find a limited selection. The menu, written up on paper hanging on the wall, changes regularly and is divided into morning and afternoon sections. The early bake includes kolaches, morning buns, and quiche. The bagels come with fun spreads — there’s even giardiniera cream cheese. The late bake includes macaroni and cheese, tarts, and cookies. While the shop doesn’t serve full espresso, Segal’s famous hot chocolate is, and so is draft cold-brewed coffee.
While Segal continues to mix it up in the back of the house, she’s not there daily, and she trusts her staff. She can turn her attention to other things, like caring for her dogs and her edibles business. Being a dog owner, Segal is also selling fresh-baked canine treats.
Walk through the bakery below.
Mindy’s Bakery, 1623 N. Milwaukee Avenue, open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.