Downtown’s Bagel Draught (and a wide-open market for new business)
August 8, 2011 3 Comments
When I moved in near Union Station a few weeks ago, one of the things I was most excited for was a toasted blueberry bagel with butter. It’s a quick, great breakfast in the morning on a weekend or before I jump on the Red Line Subway to get to work.
I walked into the station and to my surprise, Union Bagel, which had occupied a prime space on the right side as you enter the main hall, was boarded up and gone.
Over the next few weeks, I’ve done some research, trying to get a good bagel in Downtown LA. I found there was another location of Union Bagel on 6th near Olive, but alas, that too has closed.
Union Bagel was tweeting into November of 2010, and I don’t know exactly when they closed up shop… but what they did do is leave the market wide open. Not only are there no bagel shops in Downtown, but I’ve yet to find anywhere that even serves a legitimate bagel (I’m talking a place that will toast and butter them, smother them with cream cheese, and if you want to get real maybe even lox or a “pizza bagel” — of course, of the three toppings I’ll stick with toasted and buttered).
You can find an asiago bagel at Starbucks, but their selection pretty much ends there. Great places like Rush Snack Bar (in the Hope Street portal of the Metro Center Subway stop) and other cafés and grab-and-go establishments have selections of sandwiches and pastries… but no bagels.
I’m not asking for a dedicated bagel shop (I realize that may not be a viable business model, though places like I Love Bagels and The Bagel Shack have been successful with multiple locations in Orange County, as have dozens, if not hundreds, of stores in NYC and other cities), but please, will someone add some good bagels in a variety of choices to their menu here in LA? You’d certainly have this hungry downtowner in your business, and I doubt I’m the only one.
The market is wide open.
Also, if you ever think about expansion, I’d bet the area around USC is a great place to go too. Bagel Café by UCSB is one of the most popular restaurants in Isla Vista and, like Downtown, the market around USC is wide open.
P.S. If I’m mistaken and you know of a good bagel (heck, any bagel) in Downtown, let me know on twitter @stevenmwhite. Same goes if you want to partner and open a shop… I’m telling you, we could make a million.