If you thought Dave and Megan Miller's artisanal oat shop Baker Miller was the cutest joint off the Brown Line, think again: Coming next month from the husband-wife duo and Bang Bang Pie co-founders is Baker Miller General (4642 N. Francisco, Ravenswood Manor, no phone yet) a quaint hot food bar and family grocer at the heart of Ravenswood Manor.
Nestled in the 1,000 square-foot former Merle's Coffee space about a mile from the Millers' grain haven, Baker Miller General is the antithesis of your local megagrocer. "It used to be that in the middle of a neighborhood, there was a small grocer," says Dave Miller, who left Bang Bang Pie Shop with his wife in 2014 to open their Lincoln Square bakery. "We want to be [that] old-school grocer."
To do that, the Millers will source a small but elite selection of retail foodstuffs, including jarred and boxed dry items, ethically sourced meats, baked goods from their Lincoln Square mothership, and artisanal frozen foods. The Millers will also sell seasonal non-edibles (pumpkins in the fall, firewood in the winter), and shoppers will be met with ethically sourced flowers from Larkspur on entrance. "A lot of the aesthetic will be dictated by the flowers in season," says Miller.
In addition to craft groceries, the Millers will sling hot foods by local chefs at a bar in the back of their store. "We'll settle in on things that we see people always want," says Miller. That could mean curries, Italian sauces, Asian food, Jerusalem salad, and, by popular demand, roasted chicken, as well as (unsurprisingly) grains in both salad and side form. There won't be any seating in the store for now, but the Millers haven't ruled out opening their back patio to customers. In true old-timey grocer fashion, they'll deliver call-ins throughout the neighborhood—but from the sounds of it, you'll want to stop in just to beam at this place.