There are so many culinary landmarks in Chicago that truly make this great city a foodie mecca for people around the world. I am sad to say one of those great Chicago landmark institutions is closing its doors for good after 100 years in business. That famous Chicago landmark is Dinkel’s Bakery in Chicago.
Norm Dinkel Jr. has been running the business since his father left the bakery.
Dinkel’s opened in 1922, at a time when Chicago had about 7,000 bakeries.
Joseph and Antonie Dinkel bought the old Hopfner’s Bakery. Hopfner later reopened after the Depression and turned it into Dinkel’s. They moved locations in 1926, settling in the building where Dutch Boy Paints were invented.
They stayed in business through the Great Depression, thanks to Lakeview Bank, which allowed the Dinkels to pay what they could, when they could until everyone was back on their feet.
Over the bakery’s tenure, Dinkel’s became famous for sweet rolls, cookies, and coffee cakes.
In an interview, Mr. Dinkel spoke about how Dinkel's would be open 7 days a week to accommodate its loyal customers.
“Dinkel’s was open from 5 a.m. until 11 in the evening, seven days a week.”
Dinkel said. “The same person may shop at the bakery twice, or three times a day.”
Dinkel’s had a major impact on the bakery world as a whole, too.
Antonie Dinkel, who worked the front while Joseph Dinkel baked, invented a counter-height case called the Chicago Showcase.
The specialty case meant she didn’t need to bend down whenever someone ordered something. And Norm Dinkel Sr. invented the original unbaked frozen cheesecake in 1958.”
Over the course of the bakery’s life, Dinkel’s became an integral part of customers’ identities. It was there for holidays, birthdays, celebrations and as a way to commune with the city.
The weeks leading up to the close of Dinkel's saw customers waiting hours in line to get one last treat from Dinkel's
Dinkel's Bakery has since closed its doors for good on April 30th, 2022, ending a Chicago legacy of over 100 years.
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