Boca Raton, Florida-based Brooklyn Water Enterprises is bringing their Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. to Atlanta later this year. Location one of what may be many across the city will open later this spring in Cobb County. The casual eatery from south Florida will open at Akers Mill off Cobb Parkway near Sprint and Subway in the former Soup Garden. Locally-based Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint recently opened
in a space not far away.
in a space not far away.
You, like me, might be thinking it's a bit odd for Brooklyn Water Enterprises to be based in Boca Raton, but after some digging, I came to realize why. The company uses a 14 step proprietary technology to create "Brooklynized" water, and even bottles and sells it.
Operating under the philosophy that whatever is being made is more about the water used than most anything else, the chain recently opened their first Brooklyn Water Coffee Co. and is planning a Brooklyn Water Pizza & Pasta Co. as well. Thus far the brand extensions are only planned for the Florida market with the coffee concept having recently opened in Delray Beach and the Pizza & Pasta concept planned to open later this year in Palm Beach Gardens. If the extensions prove successful, I'd surmise Atlanta could be an early market into which they will try to expand.
Former CNN host Larry King is even a franchisee, and opened a location of his own in Beverly Hills, California last March. Overall the chain has ten locations, all in Florida aside from King's Beverly Hills eatery. Upcoming locations are planned for Pikesville, Maryland, Charlotte, North Carolina, Newton, Massachusetts, a few other cities and... Brooklyn, New York!
The Atlanta market is fairly competitive when it comes to bagels, with representation from both local spots and national chains. Einstein Bros. Bagels has the largest area presence with over a dozen locations, including eateries on the campuses of Emory, Georgia State and Georgia Tech. Lakewood, Colorado-based Einstein Noah Restaurant Group entered Atlanta in the mid 90s (as Melvyn & Elmo's Bagels) and has done well overall despite having closed some locations. Two closures that stick out in my mind include one that closed near Bhojanic in Decatur. If memory serves, Einstein was in or near the space that is now Nectar. Another location that surprisingly closed was their Buckhead eatery near the Peach shopping center, which later became the world's first Moe's Southwest Grill in 2000.
Additionally, Burlington, Vermont-based Bruegger's Bagels once had five locations in the metro area, but I recall them all closing around the same time in the mid 90s. In late 2009, the chain announced they would be returning to Atlanta in 2010 with a location at 6370 Powers Ferry Road, but as of yet that location has not opened. The latest I've heard is that they now hope to open sometime before April, and also have plans for another location at the Prado in Sandy Springs. I recall reading an excerpt from one of their executives stressing the importance of "the right locations in Atlanta," and have to question them thinking the Prado is anywhere near a good location. The project is a mess and is not the place to re-enter, enter, launch or otherwise operate any food service enterprise.
Local chain Goldberg's Bagel Co. & Deli now has seven area locations stretching from Colony Square in midtown to East Cobb. Their most recent opening was in Toco Hills near Emory. This opening was controversial to say the least, as it pitted them directly against neighborhood favorite Bagel Palace & Deli. For now, both are still in business, but insiders suggest Goldberg's has pulled ahead as the new neighborhood nosh spot.
BB's Bagels (Bronx Bagels), a relatively new bagel joint, features New York style bagels, larger than ones found in most other eateries and has two locations, in Alpharetta and Johns Creek.
National chains such as Panera Bread and Corner Bakery each have a number of area locations and each have at least one new location under construction. Corner Bakery is opening a new eatery in Norcross off Peachtree Parkway, and Panera Bread is opening a new location in North Buckhead on Roswell Road.
What's your favorite nosh spot? Do you prefer the local bagel joints to the national bakeries, and if so, who's your favorite? Do you agree that the water makes the bagel? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.