The wait is finally over, cookie lovers! After announcing a planned expansion to Chicago in March, beloved NYC-based sweet shop Levain Bakery will officially debut its famous chocolate chip walnut cookies in a new West Loop location this Saturday.
Levain’s Chicago outpost—which marks the brand’s first location outside the East Coast—is located on Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row, home to some of the city’s buzziest dining spots. Co-founders Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald say they chose to open in the foodie-centric West Loop after visiting Chicago to research potential areas for expansion and finding themselves “enamored” by the neighborhood’s offerings.
"We spent a couple of years making trips to Chicago, trying to get to know neighborhoods and spaces, and it felt like a place where we could come and join a community and really be part of the neighborhood," Weekes told Time Out Chicago in March.
Previously, Chicagoans could only pick up the famous Levain cookies via the brand’s retail options (which come frozen and ready-to-bake) at places like Foxtrot and Whole Foods. In addition to the chocolate chip walnut flavor, Levain’s Chicago location will offer cookies in dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate peanut butter chip and two chip chocolate chip varieties. Customers can also opt for artisanal breads, load cakes, sticky buns, seasonal items and other decadent treats. Coffee will be provided by Backlot, the Evanston-based roaster. The space itself, which formerly housed Maude’s Liquor Bar, features glimpses into the baking area as well as a Chicago-themed mural by illustrator Libby VanderPloeg.
Hoping to get in on the cookie action this weekend? As part of the grand opening on Saturday, Weekes and McDonald will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8am—plan on showing up early, because the first 100 customers will get to take home swag bags. And as another sweet bonus, proceeds from the shop’s first day of business will be donated to LYTE Collective, an organization that assists young people impacted by poverty and homelessness.
Levain Bakery (840 W Randolph St) opens Saturday, November 19. Hours are Monday–Sunday 8am-10pm.