In case you hadn’t heard, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery is down for the count. Not their wholesale component, mind you — that’s as strong as ever, serving dedicated bagels to important clients like Langer’s every day. It’s just that, well, their retail operation literally fell apart last year, and nobody’s been quite sure when the manufacturer would return.
Thankfully, the future is now looking just the slightest bit brighter. Last May, a wall almost entirely collapsed at their Historic Filipinotown location, which is where the company has their produced bagels since 1965. Luckily, incoming owner Vanik Elchibegian (who bought the place just over a year ago from the longtime Friedman family) was perfectly positioned to continue making bagels unabated, as the owner has a long history of operating wholesale baking facilities.
Only a handful of the company’s most important customers even noticed much of a drop in production during the building escapade, and since then any small kinks have been ironed out on the wholesale side completely. Of course, that doesn't mean much for the average Joe who was hoping to saunter in for a fresh bagel.
Brooklyn Bagel will be back, but likely sometime in 2017.
So it brings up the question of what’s to come with the Beverly Boulevard location, which remains fenced off and boarded up, with bracings helping to stabilize an exterior wall. In a phone call, Elchibegian says that things are coming along, just slowly. That’s less due to any foot-dragging by the company, and much more due to the City of Los Angeles, which only recently signed off on official paperwork indicating whether or not the building could even be rebuilt in the first place. There was for a time concern that a full teardown was needed.
Luckily a renovation/rehab is all that’s needed, apparently, and Elchibegian is adamant that he’d like to begin reconstruction as quickly as possible. Of course with any such project there’s a need to modernize — particularly for a building as old as the Brooklyn Bagel Bakery location — which means ADA compliance and other details that add up to more time lost. But the good news is: Brooklyn Bagel will be back, but likely sometime in 2017.
Elchibegian is also strongly against drastically changing the ethos of the place. Brooklyn Bagel will never bow to demand by toasting their bagels or making bagel breakfast sandwiches alongside $5 cups of specialty coffee. No, this is still an old timer’s place, with all that entails. Elchibegian says that he still has longtime customers who place personal wholesale orders and have them shipped to their homes; it’s a dedicated bunch.
So when Brooklyn Bagel Bakery does return, about a year from now, you can expect the same charm as always, just with some modern (and more fortified) touches throughout. Better still: those bagels won’t have changed one bit.
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