A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PIG:
The Bourgeois Pig® Café was opened on a shoestring budget in May of 1993 by the president & founder of the company, F. Mason Green, then 28 years old. Having backpacked extensively throughout Europe after college graduation and visiting many incredible cafes, and then spending several years waiting tables on Russian Hill in San Francisco, Mason was inspired to open his own coffeehouse. He had seriously considered opening a cafe in San Francisco, but the city was already inundated with a multitude of great cafes. He also considered his highschool and college hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona…but it was too hot and just wasn’t fitting for the type of place he wanted to open. A friend encouraged him to explore Chicago as an option, and he instantly fell in love with the city. He had found his new home as well as the birthplace of “The Pig”.
Chicago has many great neighborhoods, but Mason happened by chance upon a great little store for rent at 748 W. Fullerton Avenue, which was smack dab in the middle of a charming and upscale neighborhood that is called Lincoln Park. Being across the street from Children’s Memorial Hospital and 1 block away from DePaul University, the location was perfect and the price was right.
After several long months of hard work, and scouring the Midwest for antiques and furniture, he managed to pull it all together and open the doors using his last $100 of borrowed money for change in the cash register!
Sometime in 1995 Mason opened a second restaurant; a sandwich shop called The Scarlet Pumpernickel, which was located about 4 doors east of The Pig, at 738 W. Fullerton Pkwy. After realizing the shortcomings of operating two stores with very similar personalities, and twice the expenses, he decided to combine the two stores into one great place, The Bourgeois Pig® Café! The Pig was immediately successful with its newly expanded menu of sandwiches & salads, and the much larger seating capacity on two levels, as well as the wonderful new front patio seating areas, both upper and lower.
Our sandwich menu has grown tremendously from our original 8 named sandwiches to now more than 25. Additionally, after an initial 2 salad choices, we have mushroomed to a selection of more than 11! We have also delved into baking our own muffins, cookies, scones, biscotti, shortbreads, rice crispy treats, brownies, dessert bars, granola, quiche, baked omelettes, and other delicious treats. We do bake daily, and there is no rhyme or reason as to what flavor of treats we will have on hand from day to day, or from hour to hour, so please feel free to call us for flavor updates!