The word started leaking out late last year: Bagel Uprising, the cult classic carbohydrate purveyor, was zeroing in on a new, permanent location. Finally, early last month owner Chad Breckinridge offered up some specifics: The shop would be moving into the recently vacated Happy Tart location at 2307A Mount Vernon Ave. in Del Ray.
“I’m very excited to see my bagel people again. It’s been too long,” Breckinridge said. “I truly look forward to saying hello to the bagel-eaters.”
Bagel Uprising’s most recent outpost was in the former SnackBar on Mount Vernon Avenue. Once SnackBar closed and was replaced with Catch on the Ave., Breckinridge started looking at other sites. And along the way, he teamed up with another well-known Del Ray businessperson – Nicole Jones, owner of Stomping Ground.
“She knows what she’s doing, which is a great improvement over how I’ve been operating myself,” he laughed.
Breckinridge and Jones met in January 2017, when Bagel Uprising and pickle purveyor No. 1 Sons hosted a pop-up shop inside the Dairy Godmother space just down the street from Stomping Ground. Once SnackBar closed, the two reconnected and it quickly became clear that they had the same vision and ideas, Breckinridge said.
When Happy Tart closed its Del Ray doors earlier this year, Jones and Breckinridge pounced. The new space will be adjacent to Stomping Ground, making the business partners neighbors, as well – and allowing for some possible overlap between the spaces in the future.
Location aside, it’s the bagels themselves that have kept customers coming back – and continuing to multiply via word of mouth – over the years.
“Everybody believes they have their own genuine bagel. The bagels we make are made the classic old-school way,” Breckinridge said. “We make the dough in advance, we make sure that it rests in a refrigerator for at least a day before we start cooking it. We boil every one by hand.”
And don’t expect a passel of untraditional bagel choices. Bagel Uprising adheres to the canon of savory flavors – with an outlier here or there.
“We only have traditional flavors with one exception,” Breckinridge said. Along with the plain, salt, poppy, sesame and everything, “The one exception is cinnamon – the sad truth is it tastes really good, even though it doesn’t meet the test of a classic bagel.”
Breckinridge and Jones are aiming for a springtime opening of the new Bagel Uprising. The Happy Tart space will undergo a bit of a facelift, and new equipment – an oven, kettle and mixer, just to name a few – will be installed. And though the launch phase always takes longer than expected, already Breckinridge is anticipating the opening – and the rekindling of neighborhood friendships.
“What I really have enjoyed about the last few years of bageling is there’s an absolute community connection to it all,” Breckinridge said, highlighting his time at the Four-Mile Run Farmer’s Market as a cornerstone of community. “I had a similar experience at the Dairy Godmother spot, and also at SnackBar.”
As a Del Ray resident himself, “I really enjoy the feeling of being part of the community in a deeper way,” he said.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.