When Bagel Shop Bakery opened its original location on Hillcroft Street, it was one of the first bagel shops in Houston.
The restaurant is still going strong after more than 45 years, but the popular bagel shop opened a second location on the corner of Bellaire Boulevard and Chimney Rock Road in late December.
“It was a busy place, so the thought process was a place to overrun. So on Saturdays and Sundays we don’t have to wait 45 minutes or hours,” said co-owner Michael Saghian of the opening of the second location.
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The second bakery is largely similar to its original location, but has hot food on the menu.
Customers can now also get a pizza bagel, an avocado toast bagel or a Reuben, which is made from smoked salmon instead of pastrami according to kosher laws.
The new location of the Bagel Shop Bakery has kosher certifications from the Houston Kashruth Association, just like the original location, as well as the more stringent Mehadrin Kashrus from Texas. Saghian said it was important to get the certifications as the kosher community has been very supportive of the bakery since it opened.
Ed Gavrila, who co-owns Bagel Shop Bakery with Saghian and the recently retired Jay Kornhaber, founded Bagel Shop Bakery in 1975 after moving from New York and bringing the bagel recipe back with him.
“We have the best bagel, the original bagel in town,” said Saghian. “A lot of people try to copy what we do, but the recipe we have is authentic and dates back to the 1940s.”
He said it was not uncommon to find cars with New York license plates in the parking lot or people wearing Yankees hats in line to get bagels.
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“It’s a great place. It feels like home,” said Michael Dennenberg, a regular customer who has been going to Bagel Shop Bakery for over 40 years. “You know your crew. You know your people. It’s an institution, Part of our daily life. “
He is excited about the new location, which opens the Bagel Shop Bakery experience to new people who may not have come to the Hillcroft location.
The new location had been planned since late 2019, and construction was already underway when the COVID-19 pandemic began. As with many restaurants, business at its original location was at 50 percent capacity at one point during the pandemic.
Saghian said there was a lot of uncertainty.
“We were already in the middle of the construction. We had to keep going, ”he said.
Business has been strong since the second location opened on December 30th.
Saghian said he wanted to do a soft opening in time for the New Year holidays, but the Bagel Shop Bakery has its official opening and ribbon cutting on January 22nd.
The Mayor of Bellaire, Andrew Friedberg, will be there this morning to deliver a proclamation from the City of Bellaire proclaiming “Challah Day” in honor of the event and the one-day celebration.
“What Ed and Jay and their families built 45 years ago is the heart and soul of why we could do this. We are taking on the fellowship there,” said Riana Sherman. “We learned a lot in the first week and we will continue to learn, but without this original, without their families, there would be no such thing.”