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Inside Mindy Segal’s New Wonderland of Carbs and Sweets

With its long weekend lines, Mindy’s Bakery may be the hottest restaurant in Chicago

Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

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.

A smiilng bakery with glasses and an apron.
The bakery allows longtime workers like Bo Durham, a chance to shine.
Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

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.

A crowded bakery.
Beware of the lines.
A hand-written menu on paper hung on a wall.
The menu rotates regularly.
A row of five bagels behind a glass case.
Brown bags on a shelf.
A bagel on a wooden cutting board.

There’s also giardiniera cream cheese.

Lot of baked goods behind a counter display.
Carbs, butter, and sugar makes for happy people.
There are gluten-free options.
Chris Peters/Eater Chicago
Quiche is a nice morning choice.
A bucket of dog biscuits.
Make Fido happy.
The staff is hard at work every morning.
A black and white photo of a horse pulling a bakery cart with a man posing.
A historic photo of one of Mindy Segal’s relatives, her great uncle, who apparently owned a bakery on the West Side.

Revival Food Hall

125 South Clark Street, , IL 60603 (773) 999-9411 Visit Website

Mindy’s Bakery

1623 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 489-1747 Visit Website
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