The Dinkel bakery closes more than 100 years later on the north side

CHICAGO – Dinkel’s Bakery, one of Chicago’s most iconic bakeries, closes on April 30 after more than 100 years on the North Side.

Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave. on the border of Lakeview and Roscoe Village, opened in 1922 under the direction of Joseph and Anthony Dinkel. It is run by four generations of the family, and questions about its sale have arisen before, but a closure sign was posted in the window on Tuesday.

“To our customers and neighbors. Thank you …. I have been serving you for 101 years, ”the sign reads. “But the time has come. Dinkel’s will close on Saturday, April 30. “

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
The queue at Dinkel’s Bakery is April 5, 2022, after it became known that the iconic bakery would close.

The bakery became a mainstay in Chicago, with queues at the doors on weekends – when people grabbed treats such as pastries and donuts – and during gourmets such as “Fat Tuesday”.

Dinkel’s was also a longtime member of Bakers Dozen, a secret society of leaders from the oldest family bakeries in and around Chicago.

The news of the closure quickly spread on social media, where Chicagoans complained about the loss. On Tuesday afternoon, shoppers went to the store to stock up on their favorite foods.

“After the closure of the Swedish bakery, Dinkel’s picked up a slack for me… now Dinkel’s is coming,” one person wrote on Twitter. “You may have to go defend Lutz.”

79-year-old Norman Dinkel and his longtime owner have said it is closing so he can retire.

“It’s never the time to close, so I have a lot of mixed emotions,” Dinkel said. “This is a very traumatic day for me personally, for my stay and for my clients. Nobody wants to see it, but it’s time. “

The bakery negotiated with several business partners interested in buying the bakery, but the deal to sell the business failed because “they didn’t really want to work in the business,” Dinkel said.

“They want to buy a business and make money, but it’s a business where you have to work every day,” Dinkel said.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Norman Dinkel, longtime owner of Dinkel’s Bakery.

Introducing the community for more than a century, Dinkel’s Bakery has become known for its quality handmade pastries, Dinkel said.

For years, the business has served generations of families, he added.

“What makes Dinkel’s so special is that we offer stability in a crazy world and at a time when you can get something for your family or sit down and have a cup of coffee,” Dinkel said. “I’ll miss it because it’s been a pleasure to offer, especially in the last few years when this world has been really crazy.”

The future of the iconic Dinkel sign, which hangs vertically on the side of the building, is uncertain, Dinkel said.

“I still need to find out what will happen,” Dinkel said. “I’ve been told that collectors may be interested, but I don’t know yet.”

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Cakes for sale at Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave.

Michael Elkov lives in the Gold Coast, but said he regularly drives to Dinkel’s to stock up on pastries.

“It’s very sad that they’re closing because it’s a very good bakery, and I’m sure all the customers have their special orders,” Elkov said.

Elk didn’t know Dinkel’s was closing until he went to the store on Tuesday to pick up cheese and cherry strudels, he said. His other favorite is their puff cakes.

“So now I’m very sad,” said Elkov. “It’s one of the oldest and largest bakeries in Chicago, period, not to mention the neighborhood.”

Kennedy Shu, a neighbor of Lakeview, said she has been coming to the bakery for years.

“I often came here last year because my primary care doctor is nearby, so I always came to treat myself,” Shukh said. “I like Dinkel’s because the pastries are very good and it’s a welcoming atmosphere that is different from a super-corporate setting.”

Shuh said she would probably return to stock up on Dinkel’s pastries before the store closes.

“It’s very frustrating because I’m going to move even closer and was very happy to come here more often,” Shukh said.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Employees are bustling about at Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave., when on April 5, 2022, shoppers rushed in when they heard that their favorite store would close at the end of the month.

Destiny Starr said the news of the bakery’s closure was “devastating”.

“We live in Roscoe Village, so we come here for four years constantly, at least once a week,” Staar said.

The old man and her two children, Teddy and Hannah, visited the store on Thursday to pick up treats for her husband’s birthday.

Her children stared at the bakery, choosing which cookies they wanted to order, and ran around the bakery to pick candles for his cake.

“As you can see, it’s very cozy here because we visit all the time,” Starr said. “It’s the best place for them.”

Starr began living in the bakery because of its “happy atmosphere” and “quality goods”.

“When we came in and we were told they were closing, we couldn’t believe it,” Staar said. “It’s absolutely devastating, because it’s always full of people and a good local atmosphere.”

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Donuts at Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave.
Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Hannah and Teddy Sack from Roscoe village are looking at pastries at Dinkel’s Bakery.

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