Wheeling establishment combines alcohol, marijuana and a bakery

If you've gone to a cannabis dispensary, there's a good chance you left the premises right after making your purchase.

However, the concept behind the "OKAY Cannabis & West Town Bakery" in northwest suburban Wheeling is to not be in such a hurry.

On Monday, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group celebrated the opening of the first dispensary in the state to have a cocktail lounge and café in the same building.

"It's a place to hang out. It's a community experience," said co-founder Scott Weiner.


The bakery/café features a stylish interior and mouth-watering baked goods for sale, which no, are not infused with any controversial ingredients. In fact, the cannabis dispensary, while under the same roof, is through a completely separate entrance from West Town Bakery.

"You can't buy a drink in the dispensary. The bakery is a true artisan bakery. There's no cannabis infused in it," said Weiner.

Still, the idea is: grab a cup of coffee, hang out on your laptop, have a drink at the bar, host a party and the dispensary is just steps away.

"Maybe sometimes you're there you'll buy cannabis, maybe sometimes you're there to grab dessert," Weiner said.

The location is the latest iteration of the cannabis dispensary, as Illinois' status as a weed-friendly state crawls out of its infancy.

"We knew that we needed to do something to create an experience, more of that 'come on in and stay a while' type atmosphere as opposed to 'in-out-next person,'" said Weiner.

The grand opening for the location is on Friday. The Fifty/50 restaurant group plans on introducing the same concept in West Town on Chicago Avenue in early April, and in north suburban Evanston some time in July.