Miller Bagel's pastrami bagel is served with thick Montreal-style pastrami, mustard and cheese. Credit: Provided.

LINCOLN SQUARE — Baker Miller is now Miller Bagel.

The popular Lincoln Square cafe, 4655 N. Lincoln Ave., made the switch over the weekend to combat the rising cost of food and supplies that has forced other local businesses to close, co-owner Dave Miller said. 

Dave and Megan Miller opened Baker Miller in 2014 and moved to their Lincoln Avenue location in 2018. 

After navigating pandemic disruptions in 2020, the owners were hit hard by the rising cost of supplies and utility bills in 2022, Dave Miller said.  

Other area businesses like Parkside in North Center and Green Spaces Plant Shop in Albany Park have since closed or moved to sell their business for similar reasons.

“We knew that it was going to come to a point where it would not be working and we’d rather get ahead of it,” Miller said. “The utilities have been a huge burden … and a neighborhood bakery type place is just not what the market wants right now.”

In order to avoid closing, Miller said the couple decided to minimize their overhead, retire the Baker Miller brand and relaunch with a more narrow menu tailored to what they do best — bagels. 

Credit: Provided.

The couple analyzed their receipts and realized bagels were a top seller, which informed their decision to relaunch as Miller Bagel, he said.

“And honestly this is way happier for us. We’re able to do more exciting, creative things in a more focused way,” Miller said.

Miller Bagel’s new menu features unique items like The Joni, a bagel served with gochujong cream cheese, bacon, cucumber, picked carrot and furakake. 

Another option is the Pho, a bagel served with with eye of round beef, chive cream cheese, basil and onion.

“No bagel shop has anything that I’ve seen like that,” Miller said. “…The thing that’s cool is you can get the classic pastrami bagel or you could get a really cool one that you won’t get anywhere else.”

The new format will also have the couple collaborating with other businesses like Milky Milky and Umamicue on special, limited run bagels, Miller said. 

“And each month we want to have a collaborative chef bagel where they get to pick a charity that the profit goes to,” Miller said. 

As for Baker Miller, the brand is retired for the time being, Miller said.

“We’re leaving the door open to one day at maybe some other location doing Baker Miller. Because we did think it was a cool thing and we loved it. But it just wasn’t the right thing for now,” he said. 

Miller Bagel’s new menu is below.

The menu for Miller Bagel. Credit: Provided.

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