New York-style bagel shop in Chamblee has lines out the door

Dragich and Novotny have been selling their kettle-boiled bagels at the Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs farmers markets for about two years. As the demand for their baked goods grew, they realized they needed to find a bigger space than the commercial kitchen they shared, so they signed the lease at the Peachtree Road spot in April 2023.

Dragich, who’s from Cleveland, and Novotny, who’s from the Bronx borough in New York, wanted to make the shop feel like a real “New York experience,” Dragich said.

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The eatery is now outfitted with red booths, black and white floors, a red-striped awning and vintage photographs of New Yorkers selling and making bagels.

Credit: Courtesy of Julie Dragich

Credit: Courtesy of Julie Dragich

Dragich developed her bagel recipe during COVID-19 when she had extra time to experiment with baking. It’s an adaptation of her sister-in-law’s recipe. They kettle boil the bagels before baking them in a revolving oven, which gives them that classic crunch on the outside, a chewy inside and a shiny appearance. There are several flavors to choose from, including plain, sesame, poppy, everything, rosemary sea salt, cheddar jalapeno and cinnamon raisin crunch.

They also sell bialys, a traditional Polish roll that’s softer than a bagel and has an onion filling, with a recipe Dragich learned from her grandmother. They make their own cream cheese with flavors like garlic scallion, strawberry jalapeno and Sriracha. Besides baked goods, they offer sandwiches and drinks from Costa Coffee.

Credit: Courtesy of Julie Dragich

Credit: Courtesy of Julie Dragich

Dragich credits their rapid success to social media. Soon after they unlocked doors to the Chamblee shop, they posted on Instagram about the new brick-and-mortar. That attracted some buzz, which continued to grow when their restaurant made an appearance on two popular food bloggers’ social media accounts, Dragich said.

“We were not raised in an era of social media, so this whole social media phenomenon to us is really pretty unbelievable,” Dragich said.

During their opening weeks, they ran into some initial problems when their point-of-sale system crashed and Dragich had to write down everybody’s orders. They’ve also been short-staffed, with most of their part-time workers pulling full-time hours to keep the lines moving.

“We’re learning every day since we’ve been open,” Novotny said. “We’re finding things that needed to be corrected.”

While Dragich said they’ve seen some unhappy comments from customers who are frustrated by the long waits, this trial by fire has made them “stronger and more confident in what we’re doing.”

“When I’m standing there behind the glass making bagels, and I look out and I see the line, it’s amazing,” Novotny said.

5494 Peachtree Road, Chamblee. 404-948-8700, thebronxbagelbuggy.com

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