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Restaurant Fri Sep 28 2007
Lovely Bake Shop's chocolate cupcakes are vegan when they're naked - that is, before the buttercream frosting goes on. And they're often naked ones lying about in the morning. Why are the cupcakes half-vegan? One of the owners, Gina, told me that she picked a great recipe for the chocolate cake, and it just happened to be vegan. She and co-owner Brook, both came out of Chicago's French Pastry School. The next day, I sat at the bar, chatting with Brook, hearing that they make the gently sweet apple butter I was having with natural peanut butter on a famed H&H Bagel from New York. The bagels come par-baked, and they finish them every morning. Lovely also makes lavender-peach preserves and berry jam. Gina walked by and remembered me as the chocolate cupcake guy. Gina and Brook are both fun to chat with, especially when they were playing a 1980s mix just before closing. Lovely sells DIY wares on a sidewall. One piece of furniture is a holdover from the Casa Loca furniture store that used to be in Lovely's space, next to a nook high in the corner that keeps a cruiser bicycle. How fun is that?
Lovely is on the way biking into the Loop on Milwaukee. A tin ceiling painted green and wooden floors set the scene for an old general store wooden table in the middle and a refurnished wooden bar on the side. The bar sits across from an espresso machine on a wood counter along the wall, below a wooden cabinet. The cabinet's doors are open, showing brightly colored coffee cups in red, green and blue. It sits on a ledge over a short rise of white ceramic tile. Newly vinyl covered stools alternate between showing white polka dots on pale green and flowers of pink-red and yellow-orange with greens against white. Charming glass and wood cases show off their bakery items.
1130 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 572-4766