Photo courtesy of Stan's donuts

Peanut butter pockets from Stan's will hit Chicago's gourmet doughnut scene in mid-October. 

It’s not like doughnuts weren’t around before the craze that spawned Doughnut Vault, Glazed and Infused, and Do-Rite Donuts. In fact, gourmet doughnuts have been in production for 50 years at a 200-some-square-foot shop in West Los Angeles, now spinning off a Wicker Park branch: Stan’s Donuts (1560 N. Damen Ave., no phone available).

Stan’s last name is Berman, and he’s the same guy working now as when he took over the shop and named it after himself in 1963. “What we have is handiwork,” Stan says. “The exotic doughnuts we make are all hand-made. We have an assortment to knock your eyes out.” Peanut butter pockets, fritters, and twisted pretzels (even more twisted than regular pretzels, that is) feature in the eye-knocking assortment.

His local partner is Rich Labriola of the namesake bread company, who has mulled over a doughnut shop concept for a while. “I saw [Stan] on the Travel Channel about seven years ago, and I just called his doughnut shop, and he answered the phone,” Labriola says. “We were talking about it then.”

Labriola says he will contribute a new dough starter, and that Stan’s will do doughnuts unseen at the other fancy-doughnut shops, as well as selling coffee and gelato. Instead of making a batch in the early morning and closing when it sells out, as other trendy doughnut shops do, Stan’s will make doughnuts throughout the day.

The pair hopes to open in mid-October at the Wicker Park Stan’s, which is right across the street from a Glazed and Infused. “People think I did that purposely, but it’s just a really good spot,” Labriola says.