A bagel shop that was expected to close for good has been given new life.
Bagel Cafe, a 24-hour bagel shop in Bay Plaza Shopping Center that also sells MetroCards and Lottery tickets, came to an agreement with property owner Prestige Properties to continue operationing at their long-lasting location on 2214 Bartow Avenue.
Expecting to close on Sunday, November 30, Bagel Cafe was ready to accept the harsh reality after 25 years of business, because Prestige Properties’ refusal to renew its lease.
However, in a quick turnaround, Prestige Properties reached out to Bagel Cafe owner Charles Maselli on Saturday, December 6, at the eleventh hour to discuss a deal that would keep Bagel Cafe in Bay Plaza, in the Bronx and most important, in business.
After the phone conversation between both parties, an agreement was reached to extend the lease of Bagel Cafe by six years, although the exact number of years has yet to be officially confirmed. Specific details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Maselli could not be happier, and was very humbled by all of the customers and Co-op City/Bronx residents that showed his shop support when Bagel Cafe’s future was uncertain.
“Thank goodness for this miracle,” he said. The shop was closed for almost a week before reopening.
“I’m thankful for everyone who was supportive of us when this situation was going on. I’m also happy for everyone, because this doesn’t just benefit me – it benefits Prestige Properties, the Bronx community as well as the neighboring businesses in Bay Plaza, and I believe that this is a win-win situation for everybody.”
Both Bagel Cafe and Prestige Properties also agreed that the shop would need to be renovated to give the place a newer look, a project that Maselli already had intentions to start before the cafe’s lease was ended.
“Although there were reported misunderstandings between Bagel Cafe and Prestige Properties, we have always had a good relationship, and we are both happy that everything has been straightened out,” Maselli said.
The bagel shop’s owner admitted that business has been off since reopening since many of his customers are not aware of the good news.
Long-time customer Lou Marone called Bagel Cafe a ‘home away from home’ in a family-oriented setting, and was happy it was remaining open.
“I am both relieved and thrilled,” said Marone, who had been going there everyday for over 20 years, and also added that this shop is the ‘last of its kind.’
“At what other 24-hour shop in the Bronx can you purchase a coffee at under $2 these days?”
Now that Bagel Cafe is reopened, Maselli’s belief in prosperity, success and hard work resulting in achievement has been reinforced.
“This situation just might prove that the American dream still exists a little bit,” said Maselli.
Prestige Properties could not be reached for comment.