Brown Line riders will soon be able to jumpstart their mornings with a maple bacon, egg nog-bourbon or Crème brûlée doughnut, thanks to a new shop set to open its doors later this month.
The increasingly popular three-location chain, Glazed & Infused, boasts a dozen different doughnut varieties made fresh every morning. Its fourth store at 939 W. Armitage Ave. in Lincoln Park should open within about two weeks, and store manager James Gray said Tuesday that the location is far from the last.
"We are expanding so rapidly that it's a matter of simply needing more space to do all the things that we do on a regular basis," said Gray, who manages all three existing Glazed & Infused stores. "… This Armitage location is centrally located in a high density neighborhood and we want to maximize our opportunity with commuters getting on and off the train."
In anticipation of this month's opening, the Brown Line location will be handing out 1,000 free doughnuts at 7 a.m. this Friday, Dec. 7. Once it opens, Intelligentsia Coffee will be a fixture on the menu, though Gray says the store is considering other local roasters, too.
Although doughnuts are traditionally considered a breakfast food, Gray says Glazed & Infused is embracing the trend of the pastries becoming more of a dessert or treat, similar to a cupcake.
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With seating for about 20 people, the Armitage location will be large enough to host doughnut decorating parties and other private events, he says, and will remain open later than any existing location—from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every week day and from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.
Though there are small changes in each of the stores—an open kitchen setting in the Fulton Market shop that allows customers to watch the food prep and glazing processes, for example—doughnut lovers can expect the same Glazed & Infused details in each branch.
"The goal is to keep all of the branding of the stores consistent," Gray said. "When you walk into this location, you're going to realize that it's a Glazed & Infused. There are distinct similarities and each location features the brand's core elements."
Under the Francesca’s Restaurants umbrella, Glazed & Infused's mouth-watering recipes are primarily the vision of executive chef Tom Culleeney, a Chicago-area native who has traveled throughout the U.S. in search of the perfect doughnut, according to the business' website.
"I become a kid when it comes to doughnuts," he says, according to his biography. "…I admit it—I’m the quintessential doughnut lover. … I may have become sophisticated about how to make a great doughnut, but I’m just a kid at heart when I taste one.”
Amid ever-changing doughnut varieties that include salted caramel crunch, chocolate chip cookie and mint chocolate cake, it can be hard to pick a favorite. That is, unless you're Gray.
"Everyone always asks me," he said, with a laugh. "I really love all of them. But I'll be honest. I'm a real basic, sort of traditional guy. I really go for the vanilla bean glazed."