Get Ready for Lucha Dulce, From the Owners of Bleeding Heart Bakery

Punk-rock pastry purveyors Michelle and Vinny Garcia turn to Mexican baking.

Photo: Courtesy of lucha dulce

Lucha Dulce will serve up treats inspired by co-owner Vinny Garcia’s Mexican heritage, like these edible sugar skulls made with chocolate.

Best known for the noisy life and rancorous death of Bleeding Heart Bakery, Michelle and Vinny Garcia are now on the verge of starting a fight—or, in translation, Lucha Dulce (1659 W. 21st St., 312-666-2253), “sweet struggle.”

The Mexican bakery will reflect Vinny’s heritage and childhood, selling classic Mexican pastries with recipes the Garcias broke down and built up in their own style. Lighter in approach than Bleeding Heart’s brownies, cookies, and cake balls, Lucha Dulce’s offerings will tend toward candies and bite-size kid treats, such as tarts and horchata cupcakes.

When Bleeding Heart closed, Michelle worked with the Four Seasons in San Francisco and then returned to Chicago to go to E.Leaven. Soon afterward, her father died, and she had to leave E.Leaven to go to St. Louis.

Now she’s both working to open Lucha Dulce and full-time as the executive pastry chef of the Union League Club. When the bakery is open, she plans to go into Lucha Dulce at 2 a.m., bake for the day, and then show up at the Union League Club for a full day’s work at 8 a.m.

The Garcias hope to open Lucha Dulce by June 1. “The only thing left is to put the glass in front of the building and install the equipment when it arrives. And the inspections and the final license,” Michelle says.

“And we will be open, and no one will ever see me again.”

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