Perhaps you’ve heard that the eagerly anticipated La Boulangerie opened a couple of weeks ago. The four-seater bakery/crêperie has opened to much ado about an agreement it made that it would not sell coffee or individual croissants in order to secure a lease at this 2569 N. Milwaukee Avenue location.
When New Wave Coffee negotiated its lease, probably two and a half years ago or more now, it protected its business venture by securing the exclusive rights to sell soup, sandwiches, coffee and baked goods in this building at the southeast corner of Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue. New Wave does not have any say or standing in any building in the neighborhood except this one where it has a lease.
Meanwhile, Cook au Vin was cooking up crêpes each summer at the Farmers Market, and during the 2009 season, after Western Union had moved out of the corner storefront, I’m told Cook au Vin owner Vincent Columbet just fell in love with the space and thought it perfect for La Boulangerie. I give him due credit for having vision as the place was a mess.
As Columbet pursued leasing the space, he discovered the existing restrictions on the building. Earlier this year New Wave was willing to negotiate with him so that he could in fact sell bread, baked goods by the dozen, and crêpes. Without New Wave’s consent and giving on some terms, La Boulangerie would have had to choose a different space than the one Columbet fell in love with. After all this hullabaloo, I wish it had. There are still many choices on Milwaukee Avenue.
But it didn’t, and I hope the croissant kerfuffle blows over. Rather than blaming New Wave, I hope La Boulangerie starts to explain to its customers that the reason they cannot buy a single croissant is because La Boulangerie agreed to those terms in order to set up shop at this fabulous location.
And then sell those croissants! They’re delicious! Go ahead, buy a dozen; share them with your office, friends or neighbors.
Summer Sessions on the Square: Saturday, September 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Logan Square monument, this month featuring Aloha Lives!, The Doug Rosenberg Quartet, and The Bottle and Stone Battalion.