Bagels go brick-and-mortar; new Square Pie shop; etc. – J.
Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.
In October 2020, we profiled three new bagels worth trying — all made by Jewish bakers, or outlets owned by Jews. We’ve been giving regular updates on Midnite Bagels. Now we have news from the other two, Schlock’s and Poppy Bagels.
Schlok’s, whose owners were hoping to launch their NoPa storefront last September, announced on Feb. 24 that they are finally scheduled to open for takeout on March 2. It’s been an extremely frustrating ride, according to co-owner Zack Schwab, who has taken to Instagram to air his grievances.
In one post, he said that “the Department of Building Inspections requested a three-sentence statement from our structural engineer, which we submitted on February 7.” Waiting for inspectors to process it “is an excruciating delay after months of delays due to Omicron.” The post then asked people to complain to the mayor’s office about the burden that such delays place on new small businesses in the city.
Schlok’s Bagels are made by fine-dining veteran James Lok; the operation is run by Schwab, who is a partial owner of the Snug in the Marina District. The bagels started as a pandemic pop-up at the Snug and were so popular they sold out in minutes. Seeded on the bottom, these bagels were definitely the largest we’ve tried from any of the new outfits (their size has been somewhat reduced since). The lox is cured in house.
“It’s going to take us some time to ramp up production to meet all the demand, so we just ask that folks bear with us,” Schwab wrote in an email to J. “We want people to be able to avoid standing in long lines as much as possible, so we’ll be making the majority of each day’s bagels available for pre-order online starting at 6:45am. We’ll save a portion for walk-up orders and sandwiches (which won’t be available for online ordering). We hope to be able to accommodate catering and larger group orders eventually.”
Schwab said they are proud to offer their employees a living wage, health care, paid vacation and a 401k plan, which may be one reason why their prices are higher than some might expect.
Schlock’s is at 1263 Fell St. near Broderick, S.F. schloks.com
Poppy Bagels (poppybagelssf.com) is the latest local bagel outfit to announce plans for a brick-and-mortar space. It will be in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, on Telegraph Avenue near 51st Street, in a spot that used to be the popular Mexican restaurant Doña Tomas.
Owner Reesa Kashuk hopes to open by late summer or early fall. As we wrote previously, Kashuk, a New York native, started experimenting making bagels well before the pandemic, missing the taste of home. But when she lost her job in advertising, she turned it into a full-time gig.
A bagel purist and believer in hand-rolling each bagel, she will carry the usual traditional flavors. She seeds her bagels on both sides, and gets a bit more out there with her schmears. We still remember trying her beet and poppy seed cream cheese, colored bubble-gum pink.
Kashuk is using the SMBX platform to allow customers to invest in her business; the crowdfunding campaign went live Feb. 22. She has already raised over $100,000 and hopes to reach $150,000 this way, which allows people to invest in bonds in small amounts with a fixed rate of return.
“It’s a win-win for them because they can help fund the project and make money,” she told J. in an email. “My customers can be an active part of this milestone and help provide the funding I need at a competitive interest rate without me having to give up equity, which has always been important.”
Meanwhile, EaterSF broke the news that the Square Pie Guys (squarepieguys.com), Marc Schechter and Danny Stoller, who have helped lead the Detroit-style pizza craze in the Bay Area, will open their third location in Ghirardelli Square, hopefully this summer. They opened their first shops in SoMa in July 2019 and in downtown Oakland in March 2021. They anticipate that the new location will be the brand’s flagship store, and hinted that they could potentially open more down the road.
We first covered Schechter when he made pizza for homeless residents while he was still a tech worker doing pizza as a pop-up, and Stoller when they opened Square Pie Guys in SoMa. Square Pie Guys is also available for delivery on the apps.
Our recipe columnist Faith Kramer, author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Kitchen,” which grew out of her J. column, will appear in the East Bay at Afikomen Judaica on March 6 at 3 p.m. She’ll be in conversation with Angela Engel, publisher and founder of the Collective Book Studio. Afikomen is at 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley.