PILSEN — Pilsen's newest bakery was born out of necessity.
When the former Fire & Water Bakery in McKinley Park went out of business, owners of the popular South Loop cafe The Spoke & Bird were left in a bind.
They cafe needed fresh, locally-sourced buns and breads to serve to lunch crowds, but they couldn't find a local bakery that met their needs.
"It was really tough to find something that matched that quality," said Alicia Bird, who co-owns The Spoke & Bird with her husband, Scott Golas.
Faced with the bread dilemma, the couple decided to open their own bakery instead.
Baking breads, buns, pastries and more, The Spoke & Bird Bakehouse at 1248 W. 18th St. in Pilsen opened its doors in March. The new bakery and espresso bar takes over the former Beurrage bakery space that closed last summer.
The shop's baked goods, including bagels, pretzels, scones, concha and more, are now for sale in the Pilsen shop and at Local Foods in Bucktown. The bread featured at Local Foods, a grocer that highlights local food producers, comes "full circle," Bird said.
"We source everything locally," Bird said. "We get a lot of ingredients that we use in our [goods] from Local Foods. We buy their product, make bread with it and then Local Foods will feature it in their market."
In addition to meeting their own bread demand, the artisanal bakery serves customers in-house and aims to supply baked goods to clients across the city. The bakery is already serving some wholesale clients, including a few restaurants, Local Foods and Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Bird said.
The Spoke and Bird Bakehouse coffee shop serves a rotating menu of Counter Culture coffee single-origin coffees ($4 for a 12 oz. cup) alongside the bakery's selection of baked goods. As summer approaches, the bakehouse plans to add a local and seasonal breakfast and lunch food menu that includes breakfast items, sandwiches, salads and soups.
The Spoke & Bird Bakehouse is now open at 1248 W. 18th St. in Pilsen. [The Spoke & Bird Bakehouse]
After launching at the market in fall 2015, the bakery will again be serving up baked goods, bread, coffee and more at the Pilsen Community Market this summer.
"We're really excited to be in Pilsen," Bird said. "It's been really cool to get to know the neighborhood."
The shop is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and owners plan to add additional morning hours soon.
Owners first announced plans to open The Spoke & Bird Bakehouse in November.
The original Spoke & Bird opened at 1801 S. Indiana Ave. in the South Loop in June 2014.
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