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Voodoo Doughnut Announces an Opening Date for First Chicago Location

Plus, a 118-year-old bakery to close and The Freeze’s sale leaves a murky future for Chicago street food stands

A platter of elaborately decorated doughnuts.
Voodoo Doughnut is coming to Chicago.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Randolph Restaurant Row will welcome its latest national chain when Voodoo Doughnut debuts its first Chicago location on Saturday, December 16. A Facebook post declares this a grand opening celebration with free food for the first 50 at 945 W. Randolph Street. Voodoo, known for its ridiculous pastries that have found a niche among stoners, is a Portland, Oregon brand that has found private-equity funding for national expansion. It will find a comfy locale in West Loop, especially in a crowd of chain taco shops that have also expanded thanks to similar investments. Don’t be surprised if Voodoo opens more Chicago locations.

A 118-Year-Old Bakery to Close

A bakery that opened its original location 118 years ago in Chicago, is closing on Tuesday. Now situated in suburban Berwyn, Vesecky’s Bakery announced its last day of business would be on Tuesday, December 5 at 6634 W. Cermak Road in Berwyn. The fourth-generation family-owned business moved to the suburbs in the 1960s. A Czech-style bakery known for houska, kolacky, and hot dog buns, the Vesecky family announced the closure in October but today’s closing date was a bit abrupt.

“We are so grateful to all of you for your support throughout the many years,” reads a Monday morning post from the bakery.

The Unclear Future of Chicago Street Food Stands

Logan Square will soon say goodbye to The Freeze, the ice cream stand that’s stood for 73 years at 2815 W. Armitage Avenue. The owners have sold the business, according to Block Club Chicago. Old ownership told Block Club that they hope the new ownership will keep the ice cream stand. But that’s unrealistic, as the era of food stands in Chicago in a world of escalating real estate makes it challenging for affordable, working-class restaurants to take up valuable parcels that can be crammed with development. Another example is Duk’s Red Hots in West Town, which is selling and closing after 70 years at 636 N. Ashland Avenue. A third is in Bucktown where Redhot Ranch vacated at 2072 N. Western Avenue — next to shuttered John’s Pizza. There’s no need to preserve that many parking spaces, especially as Chicago improves its cycling infrastructure. That parcel has been vacant since RHR moved around the corner in September 2020. Even the future of late-night burrito spot La Pasadita, at the corner of Ashland and Division in West Town, has been in question in recent years with developers thirsty for space.

Marketing materials for The Freeze’s space tried to appeal to interested buyers by mentioning businesses that would be ideal for the parcel, namechecking Happy Camper, a pizza bar with locations in Old Town, Wicker Park, and Wrigleyville. That was included without Happy Camper’s consent, ownership tells Eater. Happy Camper’s owners say they have no plans to move into the former Freeze, and Block Club’s report didn’t mention who is buying the space.

The Freeze

2815 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 384-5211 Visit Website