After shelving their hopes of opening a community coffee shop in Logan Square earlier this year, husband and wife team Dave and Megan Miller decided to take a chance on the food truck wave with the pie-themed Bang Bang Coffee & Pie Show. Skirting city licensing issues that prevent brewing fresh coffee on board, the Millers opted for making Thai iced coffee and focusing on "pay what you want" slices of pie to help market the concept. The combination of two hot trends—pie and food trucks—made the truck an instant success, raising enough money and recognition to finally open their long-awaited storefront in Humboldt Park this January.
Receiving a warm reception in Humboldt Park, the Millers landed on a space down the block from their former stop underneath the California blue line at 2051 N. California—an unlisted property owned by one of their regulars. Working with local artists from the community, the interior will feature reclaimed wood accents, custom-made paintings and sculptures, and vintage baubles.
Making most everything in-house, the bakery will offer pies, coffee, and biscuits in the morning, with a strong focus on green initiatives to prevent waste. Dave says, "We’re trying to be green in what we do, where we’ll be using scraps from apples to make preserves for the biscuits." Along with making their own butter and preserves, the bakery will have a retail component inspired by Grand Central Bakery in Portland and Seattle, with takeaway U-Bake doughs.
The Millers even have a hand in the production of their coffee. A former owner of Ipsento Coffee House and roaster for Dark Matter, Dave will be roasting at the new Dark Matter roasting facility his own brand of coffee called Strong Man Coffee—tying nicely into the freak show theme. "There are a lot of coffees out there that are $18 per pound, but I really want to create a brand that has a high-end flavor profile but that’s a more accessible price to the community we’re in."
As for the pies, the winter menu is already up, with pies like sweet potato pie, pear cranberry pie, bourbon pecan pie, and grapefruit curd pie to come later this winter. Whole pies range will range $20-35, with a rotating selection of five pies with slices for $4-5.50, including: chocolate pie, sweet pie, fruit pie, savory pie, and an experimental pie of whatever is in the kitchen cabinet. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait just a little longer as the Millers are anticipating a mid-January opening, but in the meantime, pies are still available through their website.
Bang Bang Pie Shop, 2051 North California Avenue