It’s been more than five months since Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen closed due to a damaging fire. In that time Josh Pollack has filled the city’s empty bagel space with pop-ups and catering to keep Rosenberg’s relevant and in the public eye. And now, finally, the shop will reopen on Sunday, October 16. There’s so much hype that Pollack has hired bouncers (bagel bouncers!) to help manage crowds for the invite-only grand reopening party on the 15th.
Much about Rosenberg’s will look and feel the same (the dining room was largely untouched by the fire), but Pollack took advantage of the down time to rework a few things: The shop’s murals have been refabbed to include a theme of Phoenix rising from the ashes; the kitchen (which was heavily damaged) layout has changed to be more efficient; the flattop surface has been doubled to help keep pace when egg sandwiches are in high demand; and new display cases are higher set and more retail-friendly. “That’s the silver lining to this awful event,” Pollack says. “No one really gets a chance like this to take a step back and look at the lessons of the last two years. It’s hard to get better when you’re in full swing.”
With that in mind, Pollack has added some menu items, namely fresh-squeezed orange juice to order, daily bialis, bagel balls, and a weekly rotation of special sandwiches (remember that matzo ball soup sandwich that debuted during the 4/20 pop-up?).
Another blessing in disguise was signing on with a commissary kitchen. This was necessary for Rosenberg’s to provide bagels for its pop-ups in the last several months, but now the space is proving just as important. With the opening of Rosenberg’s second shop at the Stanley Marketplace looming (the hope is December), all of the bagel dough will be made there. All bagels will still be baked on-site at the shops. “The commissary will allow us to grow into the other things we’re doing and not worry about sacrificing quality,” Pollack says.
For now though, Pollack is focused on Sunday’s grand re-opening. To make it go as smoothly as possible, he wants to put the word out that’s he’s hiring for all positions. “We’ve had a grand opening before but this feels like a new one. We’re nervous, and we’re excited.”
725 E. 26th Ave., 720-440-9880
—Photo by Rachel Adams