Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner, the co-owners of The Fifty/50 (2047 W. Division St.; 773-489-5050) in Wicker Park announced plans to open two new concepts in West Town, as reported in Metromix. Roots (1924 W. Chicago Ave.; no phone yet), a neighborhood bar with Quad Cities-style pizza, and Bleeding Heart Bakery and Café (1916 W. Chicago Ave.; no phone yet), an organic mecca with fresh bread and all-day breakfast, are scheduled to open on back-to-back weekends in March 2011. Dish spoke to Mohr and Michelle Garcia, one of the original co-owners of Bleeding Heart Bakery, to get the 411.
Dish: Let’s talk pizza first—it sounds like Chicagoans are in for a new pizza experience. What makes Quad City pizza different?
Greg Mohr: It’s hand-thrown dough, so definitely thin, but not superthin. Not crunchy, but chewy and malty, which makes it [taste] very different. Then a spice blend is added to the dough. Everything, even the sausage, will be made in-house. [The sausage is] crumbled to cover the whole pizza, and cheese covers everything.
D: If Chicago gets hot food trucks, would you be interested?
GM: We’re already looking into that, for [both] the pizza and the bakery. We do have a carryout window off to the side, with whole pizzas and slices.
D: How did the partnership with Bleeding Heart Bakery come to pass?
Michelle Garcia: I used to be a customer at Fifty/50 and became friends with Greg and Scott. I reached out [to them] for help because Bleeding Heart was getting too big for its britches. I’m a pastry chef and needed help with the business end. They had amazing ideas, and we decided to combine. I know how to make some damned good pastries, but I’m not good at marketing them—I know my skill set, and it belongs in the kitchen.
D: So what will the new bakery look like?
MG: The bakery will have a full line of breads for restaurants, for our own use, and also for retail. We are also going to have all-day breakfast—eggs, waffles, and pancakes. I am really [drawn] to diner-style and Southern foods. Every product that we use is certified organic or comes from a trusted local provider, and a lot of [menu items will be] vegan or gluten-free.
D: Can we get a sneak preview of something from your breakfast menu?
MG: Deep-fried doughnut sandwiches—the idea of a breakfast sandwich, where you can pick the bread, the meat, and the style of egg. But instead of bread, you are picking your doughnut, and then it’s tempura battered and fried.
D: That doesn’t sound too healthy.
MG: I never said healthy. Just because it’s organic does not mean healthy. I like good, hearty food [and] full, happy, smiling people.