Buck Russell’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop is Ballyhoo Hospitality’s newest concept, set to open this spring in downtown Wilmette. Buck’s Russell’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop represents the hospitality group’s third new establishment on the North Shore in the last two years, following the opening of Sophia Steak and Pomeroy. Located at 1137 Greenleaf Ave in Wilmette, Buck Russell’s is the North Shore’s one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch, takeout, and catering, offering an array of American bakery classics and delicious deli sandwiches.

“After the success of Sophia Steak and Pomeroy, we’re excited to expand our footprint in the North Shore and provide our guests with this new concept,” says Ballyhoo Hospitality’s co-founder, Ryan O’Donnell. “We aim for Buck Russell’s to become the suburbs go-to for baked goods and family-friendly food. After guests leave, we want them to be craving more.” 

For over two decades, Pastry Chef and Managing Partner Jenny McCoy has been serving smiles across the nation with her innovative approach to nostalgic American pastries and desserts. Before joining Buck Russell’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop, McCoy cut her chops at some of the country’s top restaurants, including Emeril’s, Charlie Trotter’s, Blackbird, Craft, and A Voce. The bakery menu will include homemade crullers, a wide selection of layer cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies. And the pièce de resistance at Buck Russell’s is her one-of-a-kind Pancake Cake, made with layers of buttermilk pancakes and a rich maple buttercream icing.

To start the day on a sweet note, try a Pecan Sticky Bun, Blueberry Streusel Muffin, or indulge in a slice of Grandma Russell’s Coffee Cake, Buck’s Banana Pudding Pie, or Mile High Lemon Meringue. For cupcake lovers, Buck Russells’s has you covered with a variety of fun and familiar flavors, including Buck’s Birthday Suit, Classic Carrot, Cookies & Cream, Raspberry Red Velvet, and many more. Perfect for a party, guests can order an Old-Fashioned Icebox Cake, or celebrate birthdays with one of ten different buttercream layer cakes.

“After the last couple of years we’ve all had, we’re excited to bring the North Shore something light-hearted and comforting—a place to simply enjoy,” says McCoy. “We want Buck Russell’s to be a place that feels like home – the local after school hangout, or where you take the team after a big win; the go-to for a coffee and pastry before your morning commute; your lazy Sunday morning breakfast. And we will definitely be the best bakery in town for layer cakes.” 

When dining in, guests can expect smiling faces, and casual, yet thoughtful, service. Guests will order at the counter, take a number, and grab a booth or a stool at the lunch counter. The savory menu includes a dozen original sandwiches served on house-baked bread, including the “Ouilmette Cheesesteak” featuring shaved ribeye, provolone, A1 mayo and caramelized onions, or the the “Ragin’ Cajun” made with Cajun-spiced turkey, Alpine swiss, slaw and homemade chow chow relish. Diners can also order the “Texas Style Chili ” seasoned with an award-winning spice blend from the Lone Star state itself. A variety of egg sandwiches for breakfast will be available for purchase as well. For those looking for something lighter, guests can choose from a menu of fresh chopped salads and Flo’s Soup Du Jour. 

The “Lil’ Bucks” menu has every kiddos’ favorite sandwich on deck, with homeruns like the “Bambino,” made with meatballs, smothered in red sauce, and topped with melted provolone and lots of parm. 

Buck Russell’s interior is a modern nod to the classic American diner. Featuring an open kitchen behind a retro lunch counter, vintage wallpaper, Pullman style booths, chrome accents, schoolhouse-style pendant lighting, and warm wood floors. There will be 12 counter seats and a handful of booths that seat up to 34 at the sandwich shop. 

Buck Russell’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop will be open daily from 7:00 am-5:00 pm. Looking ahead to the summer, the team plans to expand their hours and offerings to include homemade ice cream and milkshakes.

Casual Dining, Industry News