New Paradise Bakery, whose sister location is in Sicily, set to open Sat., March 26, inside former Gladstone Park Bakery facility, which has undergone major renovations
by BRIAN NADIG
New Paradise Bakery, opening March 26, inside the former Gladstone Park Bakery at 5742-44 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be offering a variety of bakery items and gelato, using fresh ingredients and recipes from its sister location in Palermo on the island of Sicily.
“We want to be part of the neighborhood (and) also will ask (for local recommendations),”said New Paradise Bakery manager John Rubino.
As a result, New Paradise customers may find Polish, German, Irish and other cultural delights in the display cases in addition to Italian favorites, such as cannolis, panettone, mini-pizzas, calzones, arancini (rice balls with meat or cheese) and panelle (sandwiches made with chickpea flour).
The gelato flavors will be seasonal, as “real ingredients, real chocolate, real vanilla, real fruit” will be used, Rubino said. The Palermo location has 100 or more flavors, although the Chicago store will not be offering that many for now, he said.
Customers will be able to choose between cannolis made from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk, which is used in Palermo, Rubino said. Sheep’s milk has a stronger taste and provides a “more authentic” flavor to the cannoli but is more difficult to find at a cost-effective price in the United States, he said.
Rubino said that the idea for New Paradise to open a branch in Chicago started with a phone call from his brother Lucky, who owns a butcher shop overseas and knows the owners of the New Paradise in Palermo. Now there is even consideration of a New Paradise in New York City.
Plans for the New Paradise in Chicago were first announced in 2019. The renovation of the former Gladstone Park Bakery facility took time, and the pandemic slowed things down, as travel restrictions prevented bakers from Italy coming to the U.S., Rubino said.
Bakery director of operations Vito Rubino said that a couple display cases and an oven were saved from the former Gladstone bakery but that everything else is “brand new.” He added that he is “extremely excited” to start welcoming customers into the new bakery after months and months of preparation.
There are some indoor tables for those who want to eat there, and plans are in the works for outdoor seating. The planned hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The first day of business will be Saturday, March 26, when the doors open at 11 a.m. and a ribbon-cutting at noon. Free tastings will be offered that afternoon.
The regular menu will include breakfast items, pastries, cakes, gelato, sandwiches and espresso.
John Rubino said that he is aware that Gladstone Park Bakery was famous for its cakes, once selling 400 to 600 decorated cakes on weekends, and that the bakery plans to bring in cake designers. The Gladstone Park Bakery on Milwaukee closed more than 10 years ago.