Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe open to the public Monday, August 22Sit-down brunch specialties served every day, Alterra coffee/espresso and Rare Tea Cellar bar, counter service to-go, sit-down and wholesale pastries, baked goods, breads, and more
CHICAGO (August 18, 2011) – Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner (co-owners of The Fifty/50 and Roots Handmade Pizza) have partnered with Michelle and Vinny Garcia of The Bleeding Heart Bakery to open Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café.
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will open at 6am Monday, August 22, and will feature sit-down brunch specialties; a full-service Alterra coffee/espresso and Rare Tea Cellar tea bar; counter service to-go, sit-down and wholesale pastries, baked goods, breads, and more.
Michelle first met Greg a few years ago when picking up take-out food from The Fifty/50, which she did multiple times a week. Michelle and Greg first bonded over their love of tattoos and the restaurant industry. Soon all four became fast friends. As their friendship grew, Michelle and Vinny approached Greg and Scott about getting involved with running the business aspects of the Bleeding Heart Bakery. Shortly thereafter a true partnership was formed and the fruition is Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café.
Greg and Scott will run all business and operations aspects of the Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café which will allow Michelle and Vinny to focus all their time and effort to be creative in the kitchen and with their award-winning cakes. Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will stay true to the original Bleeding Heart mantra of using the best local, organic, and sustainable items in their sit-down brunch menu and in all their pastry and baked goods.
The Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe – a two-story 8,500 square foot space – is located at 1916 W Chicago Ave adjacent to Roots Handmade Pizza in West Town (773.904.1414; http://twitter.com/bhbwesttown
and http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bleed ... 1931237245
People can order any of the Bleeding Heart cakes, pastries, bread and baked goods online on the new Bleeding Heart Bakery website that should be live soon at http://www.thebleedingheartbakery.com
Café Hours (sit down all-day brunch menu available):
Monday - Thursday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. through Sunday 4 p.m. (57 straight hours!)
Bakery Hours (counter service for coffee/tea and counter service pastries and other baked goods):
Monday - Thursday 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 6 a.m. through Sunday 9 p.m. (63 straight hours!)
The Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will open without a liquor license. It will not be BYO. Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café is applying for a liquor license. If they receive one, a separate release will go out highlighting their beverage program.
The first floor of Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will seat approximately 110 people including nine seats at the diner counter. There will be an outside patio along Chicago Avenue that will seat about 24.
The second-story inside seating that’s available for regular service use and for private events will open shortly and will seat about 60. The planned outside rooftop organic garden and educational farm that will host private events is on hold for now – likely until spring 2012. A separate release will go out highlighting the details once it is ready to open.
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will prominently feature a storefront studio window where patrons can view Vinny designing and decorating cakes that helped make Bleeding Heart Bakery (voted the No. 6 bakery in the country by TLC) nationally known thanks in part to their participation in over a dozen Food Network Challenges. Also in the storefront studio window, patrons can prominently view Michelle creating chocolate, truffles and ice creams from scratch daily.
The interior of the Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café incorporates many classic diner elements (black and white tiles, vintage lighting fixtures, a diner counter with classic bolted-to-the-floor swivel stools) married with the well-known Bleeding Heart punk rock aesthetic (bold and brightly colored chairs and booths, tattoo-styled murals and wall art).
The entire kitchen of Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will be glassed-in so patrons can view everything going on in the back-of-the house including bread baking and pastry making.
All of the other Bleeding Heart Bakery storefronts (Roscoe Village and Oak Park) will remain open in their current locations. Plans for another Bleeding Heart Bakery is slated to open in Elmhurst mid-September. However, all of the baking production for all current and future Bleeding Heart locations will run out of the new Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café.
While Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will create and sell the traditional organic baked goods they’re well known for, they will focus more on finer American pastries utilizing French techniques incorporating seasonal and locally-sourced organic ingredients. Flavors will rotate seasonally and sometimes daily based on what comes in from their wide array of farmers and purveyors.
A sampling of the baked goods that will be served for both to-go and sit down at Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe are pastries (scones, croissants, teacakes, quiche), doughnuts (full menu below), cookies, whoopee pies, cake calls, macaroons, tarts, ice cream tarts, entremets (small French-style pastries like mouse cakes), cream puffs, bread puddings, ice creams, soy ice creams, milk shakes, individual pies, candy bars, pate de fruits, chocolate candies, cakes, and cupcakes. Four large LCD screens will display the daily baked goods and pastries along with the coffee and tea offerings.
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will also in-house bake about 12 different kinds of breads daily utilizing old school pre ferments and very few commercial types of yeast to develop a better depth of flavors. Breads from Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will be available for sale to patrons and wholesale to other restaurants as well. Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café sit-down diner menu highlights (full menu attached)
Michelle – who cooked and trained around the world from Chicago to San Francisco to Amsterdam – is excited to get back into the kitchen and create brunch items that will be traditional American-style diner food with the Bleeding Heart twist.
A main menu highlight is the deep fried doughnut breakfast sandwich where patrons can pick their meat (bacon, country ham, breakfast sausage patty) and cheese (white cheddar or Swiss). The vanilla bean yeast doughnut is then loaded up, tempura battered and then deep fried.
Savory menu highlights include a “Southern Fried Chicken and Waffle” (organic boneless chicken breast atop a vanilla bean and bacon waffle that’s served with chipotle maple bacon butter), five eggs benedict versions (including a fried green tomato option with country ham and bacon hollandaise served over toasted brioche), fish tacos, chilaquiles, six skillets (including “The Southside” that features housemade corned beef hash, choice of eggs, and roasted potatoes), four omelets, a herbed waffle with braised pork belly, and venison chili pot pie.
Sweet menu highlights include the “Veruca Salt Waffle” with salted caramel mousse and vanilla bean anglaise; hibiscus pancakes topped with warm lemon custard, fresh whipped cream, and berries; “Crunchy Cinnamon Swirl French Toast” topped with housemade caramel corn and fresh whipped cream; and “Chocolate Chip Pancakes” with caramelized bananas and candied maple bacon.
Vegan menu highlights include housemade vegan biscuits with wild mushroom gravy; a seasonal squash and fresh herb skillet with twice baked tofu and roasted potatoes; and “Vegan S’Mores” that are dark chocolate pancakes with vegan marshmallow cream and coconut ganache that’s topped with graham cracker crumbles and even more vegan marshmallow cream.
Below is the doughnut menu available for eat--in and take-out at the Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe:
Doughnuts: $2.50 not filled / $3 filled
Strawberry frosted yeasted doughnut with sprinkles.
Yeasted doughnut with fresh opal basil and crushed Seedling Farms blueberry glaze.
Strawberry filled yeasted doughnut.
Spiced apple filled yeasted doughnut dusted with cinnamon sugar.
Roots n’ Radical
Sweet potato cake doughnut dusted with powdered sugar.
Holiday in Cambodia
Preserved lemon and mango filled coconut yeasted doughnut with preserved lemon glaze.
Espresso fueled chocolate doughnut soaked in chocolate liqueur, glazed in mocha syrup, and topped with a chocolate cigarette. (v)
Red bean filled green tea yeasted doughnut with black sesame glaze.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Time
Chocolate cake doughnut with peanut butter glaze. (v)
Mommy’s Little Monster
Chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate glaze and sprinkles.
The Death of John Waters: The Divine Doughnut
Maple whiskey soaked yeasted doughnut with a candied bacon crust.
Pecan and custard filled yeasted doughnut with double dulce de leche glaze. Machete don’t diet.
Punk Rock Princess
Lemon filled pink hibiscus doughnut with strawberry glaze. Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café coffee and tea menu highlights (full menu attached)
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will have a full service coffee and tea bar featuring Alterra coffee and espresso and Rare Tea Cellar teas. To-go coffees and teas come in three sizes (12oz, 16oz, 20oz) and sit-down coffee and tea drinks are 16oz.
In addition to lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, Americanos, and more there will be six specialty coffee drinks including the “Alex De Large” (English Toffee Double Espresso Cappuccino) and the “In & Out” (Cherry Amaretto Cream Latte).
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café will also feature housemade Italian sodas in nine flavors. More information on Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe owners Michelle Garcia, Vinny Garcia, Greg Mohr, Scott Weiner Michelle Garcia bio
Michelle Garcia first learned to cook when she was sent to a California school for troubled teens. Assigned to kitchen duty whenever she misbehaved, Michelle started misbehaving quite a bit. The kitchen was headed by professional chefs who used fresh, local ingredients in everything they made. Michelle learned first-hand that this was the way to go.
After California, she traveled the U.S. working the kitchens at some the nation’s finest restaurants. Usually, she’d work for free. Sometimes, pay meant a bus ticket and a referral to the next restaurant in the next city.
Michelle’s formal education began when, without telling her, an Atlanta restaurant got her into culinary school. She went on to graduate top-of-class from Chicago’s French Pastry School and, from there, she joined up with the Dutch patisserie team. During her stint in Amsterdam, Michelle found her passion for cakes and her personality in pastry.
Bleeding Heart Bakery is the culmination of Michelle’s skills, vision, and ethics. Since opening shop with Vinny in 2004, she’s been pioneering the kinds of inventive creations that have earned fame for the bakery and continue to inspire her peers in the industry. Oaxacan-spiced cakeballs, chocolate-dipped bacon, absinthe-laced cakes—this is Michelle at work. Vinny Garcia bio
Vinny’s tough upbringing taught him that, if he wanted to make it, he just had to do it. He’s been a butcher, a truck driver, a saucier. He’s a musician, a carpenter, an artist, and a dad. He built the first Bleeding Heart Bakery by hand, and he’s been responsible for the artwork and aesthetics of each of our bakeries ever since.
Vinny has worked with food for most of his adult life. But his true ascent began when he was hired as a catering driver for Wolfgang Puck—he was mistaken for a cook and put on the line. His skills were quickly noticed, and Vinny’s hands-on gourmet schooling grew and grew. In 2004, he opened the first Bleeding Heart Bakery with Michelle, his wife.
Today, Vinny’s the man behind all of Bleeding Heart Bakery’s visionary cake masterpieces. As with his many other skills, he’s entirely self-taught. He started by shaping fondant into little skulls and zombies, and moved on to sculpting entire cakes into the larger-than-life masterpieces that have made Bleeding Heart Bakery famous.
You can usually find Vinny performing his impressive feats of cake at our West Town location. When he’s not doing that, he’s probably fixing something around the bakery. And if he’s not there at all, watch for him and Michelle dominating cake and pastry competitions across the United States.Greg Mohr bio
Greg Mohr was literally born into the restaurant and hospitality industry. Growing up in Rock Island, Illinois, Greg saw the success of the liquor store his great grandfather founded become the highest grossing liquor store in Illinois during the late ‘60s and 70s. The Mohr family expanded its liquor store concept under his grandfather that turned into three bars and a deli. At age 8, Greg began cleaning the liquor store and started working in the deli.
Greg continued to work in various restaurants throughout high school in the Quad Cities and in college while studying business administration at Illinois State University. Greg moved to Chicago after college while working as a server at Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House that is a part of the Gibsons Restaurant Group. Four months into his stint at Hugo’s, Greg was promoted to assistant general manager.
Eight months later, Greg was tapped by the Gibsons Restaurant Group to open and run Gibsons Steakhouse in Rosemont, Illinois, as a managing partner and new concept creator. After three years at the suburban Gibsons, Greg was then moved to the original and iconic Gibsons on Rush Street and worked directly with owners Steve Lombardo and Hugo Ralli for over a year.
Greg was then offered the assistant general manager at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab with the behemoth Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group. Two years into his stint at Joe’s, Greg was elevated to the general manager position where he stayed for two additional years.
Greg left Joe’s early into 2008 to open his own place, The Fifty/50, with another former Joe’s manager, Scott Weiner. Greg and Scott started work the same day in 2004 as managers at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab and quickly became best friends.
The Fifty/50, located in the heart of the bustling Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, is a tri-level upscale sports bar and comfort food restaurant that has garnered many local and national awards. Greg and Scott are also co-owners of Roots Handmade Pizza in West Town that opened in May 2011 which specializes in Quad Cities style hand-tossed pizza and features 70 beers all from the Midwest. Scott Weiner bio
Scott Weiner – a Northbrook, Illinois, native – traces his love and passion for the restaurant business back his first job as a server at Johnny Rockets as a teenager.
Scott worked for four years in various capacities at multiple China Grill Management restaurant concepts in Las Vegas while he simultaneously he earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration with a major in beverage management form UNLV.
While in college, Scott also earned his sommelier license through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and used his talents to develop the wine and spirits program at one of the China Grill properties in Las Vegas.
Prior to opening The Fifty/50, Roots Handmade Pizza, and Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café with business partner Greg Mohr, Scott was the assistant general manager at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab where he focused on food purchasing and menu development.