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Baker and Nosh Cafe To Take Over Former El Norte on Ridge Avenue

EDGEWATER — Uptown’s quaint Baker and Nosh cafe and restaurant is soon to fill the store at 5600 N. Ridge Ave. in Edgewater left behind by El Norte, a representative for the property confirmed Tuesday.

The neighborhood restaurant offers homemade breads, soups and teas, along with the options for outdoor seating during warmer months and a BYOB policy.

The store has been empty since 2012 when the Mexican eatery shuttered its doors, much to the dismay of the neighborhood.

Property records show the building got over $800,000 in renovations to re-configure the structure into a first floor multi-tenant retail space with six apartment units above, owned and managed by Cedar St.’s residential counterpart, FLATS Chicago.

Since El Norte’s closing, residents have been eager to find out what is gearing up to set up shop in the corner storefront.

Dan Luna, assistant to Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), had hinted during community meetings the development will be something “people are very excited about,” but would leave it to property owners to make any announcements.

A rumor of Trader Joe’s possibly taking over the spot was quashed in December when a spokeswoman for the grocer said there were no plans to open in Edgewater in the next few years.

Baker and Nosh’s first location, 1303 W. Wilson Ave., was started by Bill Millholland who had studied both French and Japanese in college before switching gears and entering the culinary world, according to the cafe’s website.

Eventually, he made is way to the French Culinary Institute in New York and discovered his love and passion for baking (he is the “baker” in Baker and Nosh).

Millholland went on to become a chef instructor at Toscana Saporita Cooking School in Italy, and taught at Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts for seven years.

Millholland was not available for comment.

By Linze Rice