Bellaire residents won’t have to drive very far to get fresh bagels in 2020. New York Deli & Coffee Shop and its companion bagel shop, the 44-year old staple of Houston’s Jewish community, will add a second location near the Bellaire Triangle, partner Michael Saghian tells CultureMap.
Saghian and his partners, Shaun Leva and bagel shop co-founder Ed Gavrila, have purchased a former drug store/pawn shop at 5422 Bellaire Blvd that will allow them to expand all of their current businesses: Houston Catering Concepts, New York Deli & Coffee Shop, and the Bagel Shop Bakery. Currently, the partners expect to move the catering business from its current home on lower Westheimer to the new facility some time in the second quarter of 2020; the retail spaces will open in the third quarter.
The approximately 12,000-square-foot building offers enough room for HCC, a business that Saghian says delivers 45 to 50 corporate catering jobs every weekday, to expand its operations as well as provide a 5,000-square foot, 200-seat second location of the popular diner. The space will also have a private events room capable of seating 120 people.
In addition to housing a catering kitchen and the restaurant, the new space will also offer a second location for the bagel shop. Just as the current bakery carries a kosher certification from the Houston Kashruth Association, the new location will, too, which will allow it to provide challah and other products to area synagogues, schools, and other Jewish institutions.
Although the locations are only about three miles apart, the new restaurant and catering facility has a number of advantages beyond its expanded footprint. For the catering company, it’s closer to freeways, which aids in speedy deliveries. The new location is also closer to offices and a growing residential neighborhood. Owning the property also held appeal for the partners.
“If we were getting a second location, we had to own it. I don’t want to be at the mercy of a landlord again,” Saghian says. “Bellaire is my area. My dad has his restaurant, Brisket Bar-BQ, there. Bellaire is growing, a lot of new development; we want to be part of it.”
For Saghian, one of the biggest advantages of the new location will be that it’s more kid and family-friendly. In its current location, the deli struggles to seat the sort of multi-generational families who want to have breakfast together on the weekends. At the new location, seating a party of 12 or 15 will be relatively easy.
Having access to a large catering kitchen that serves six different styles of cuisine will allow the deli to offer dinner service for the first time. Expect an eclectic menu that suits a number of different cravings.
“Obviously, breakfast for dinner is a huge thing,” Saghian says. “Seafood is lacking in Bellaire. We want to hit that a little, too. You’ll also get Jewish-style food . . . We’ll have a diverse menu where there’s something for everybody.”
Saghian has made a number of changes to the bagel shop and deli since he became a partner earlier this year, including adding contemporary ingredients like avocado and upgrading the coffee. Overall, he and Gavrila say the restaurant has new life, and they want to bring that spirit to the new location.
“People grab my hand and shake it every day,” Saghian says. “The craziest thing I’ve learned is adding something as simple as avocado, the smiles you see on people’s faces”
However, Saghian knows he can’t change the bagel recipe. They’ll be made the same way they have been for almost 45 years. Checking on the quality every day is an added perk.
“I eat a bagel right out of that oven every single day,” Saghian says. “I can’t stop. I love it.”