Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bagel Palace Bows Out at Toco Hills, Looking to Reopen "very close by"

In a development many feared was inevitable, the owners of Bagel Palace announced earlier this evening that tomorrow, May 20, will be their last day in business at Toco Hills.  The eatery, which was a neighborhood mainstay for 25 years, cited "current rent, under the new landlord [Edens] as having made it "impossible to stay."  Although the restaurant was not kosher, it was a popular eatery for the area's large Jewish community and those looking for good bagels and related fare. 
Bagel Palace posted the following message to their Facebook page shortly before 9PM Saturday evening. 
"It is with much sadness that we need to tell all of our BP friends and family that as of Sunday May 20th, at 4 PM, the doors of our home away from home will be closing for the last time. We never thought it would end this way when we began a new episode in our lives upon moving to Atlanta, 25 years ago. With the current rent, under the new landlord, it was impossible to stay.  We have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people that have come through our doors. So many of you have become our friends and family and shared many important events in our lives as we've shared yours. When the lights go out for the last time, know that you will all be remembered dearly. We hope to keep in touch and let you know what our next adventure will be. Much love, Sue and Joe Robin and Manny"
In 2010, Goldberg's Bagel & Deli opened a restaurant in Toco Hills Promenade, the Publix center, which at the time was the only portion of the overall Toco Hills shopping district owned by Columbia, South Carolina-based Edens.  That changed in late 2015, when Edens signed a 35 year ground lease with Clyde W. Shepherd III, owner of Toco Hills shopping center and son of its developer, W. Clyde Shepherd, Jr.   For many in the community, this transaction seemed to foreshadow the closure of many of the center's longtime tenants. 

Edens has invested heavily in updating the center: new siding, new lighting, new paving, new landscaping etc.  While it is now visually appealing in many ways,  it has come at the expense of many of the center's treasured gems - Shoe Center, Famous Pub, Petite Auberge - and now Bagel Palace.
New restaurants such as The Local Pizzaiolo and Spiller Park Coffee, an upscale coffee bar owned by James Beard award winning chef and restaurateur Hugh Acheson, have opened in the center, and others such as Chopt, Kale Me Crazy and Hudson Grille will open soon.  Other new additions include Westside Market, a housewares shop with an existing location on the Westside. 

Many neighbors would agree that the center has improved in many ways, yet many still feel that the center is fast becoming "bougie" like Buckhead with upscale shops and restaurants replacing longstanding local tenants of the center. 

Over 200 comments had already been left on the closure announcement on the Bagel Palace facebook less than two hours after its release.  Most comments include words such as  "devastated, horrible, sorry and sad."
Stefanie B. was one of the first to comment, saying in part "Makes me so mad too because the new management was adamant that BP would stay. Never mind that they would hike the rent to push y'all out. Guess a jewel like BP doesn't fit their new, sparkly, yuppy image."

Ben P. added "Thank you for so many great years, and bagels that helped a poor homesick college kid not be so homesick (okay and maybe sometimes a homesick “grown-up” too). Sad to see the changes occurring in Toco Hills but I appreciate your community-building over the years."

Diane L. was direct in her feelings on the situation "Well they’ve finally done it! ... run off the finest establishment in the center! This is heartbreaking and infuriating!"

Bagel Palace responded to the comments "It is very hard to sit here and read these wonderful comments. You were all like family to us. It will be sad to wake up and not be able to go home to the Bagel Palace."  The restaurant was later asked if they were going to open somewhere else, to which they replied "We are looking very close by."

The current 3,750 square foot space in Toco Hills is still marked as occupied, and is not yet being publicly marketed for lease by Edens.  At least one family took out their frustrations about the imminent closure with multiple signs at the restaurant, praising the it and calling out Edens and Mark Doster, the leasing agent for the center, for "pushing out our beloved Bagel Palace." 
What are your thoughts on the recent changes at Toco Hills shopping center?  Are you pleased with the new additions to Toco Hills?  Where do you think Bagel Palace should reopen? 

Please share your thoughts below 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The BP owners sister and her husband were the long time owners and founders of Il Bacio which was recently sold, and they’ve all owned several other Bagel/Pizza food businesses in the area. While there is no doubt the rent has become at least part of the equation, I can’t help but think there is also some family plan for retirement, or new business partnership, or move to FL or SC, perhaps as well as to reboot BP ATL as a business strategy. I would love to see from these owners similar concepts to il bacio and BP at Brookleigh Marketplace in Brookhaven.

Anonymous said...

My household tries very hard not to eat at chains. I really don't want the same tasting food everywhere (and every country) to taste the same. I can't imagine what is put in the food to make it taste the exact same way in all the different locations. We look hard to support the locals and love it when the owner is on the premises. Chamblee is opening several local places so that is now the place to go.

Anonymous said...

Please reopen in downtown Decatur

Anonymous said...

Yup, that complex has become way too bougie. I barely recognize it anymore! What's up with that Spiller Park place only having toast, too? (Okay, and exactly one kind of muffin, according to the menu. I've never been there.) So weird...

Anonymous said...

The food tastes exactly the same because they use the same products and recipes.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure I want to live in a world where Bagel Palace does not exist.

Also - I am confused by the concept of improvements. The center is extremely hard to navigate and dangerous both walking or driving due to the reconfigurations.

Lastly - I heard Hudson's Grill pulled out. Big reason why there hasn't been any work done in the space since Famous vacated.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even a GA resident, and this makes me very sad. I've had so many good times at Bagel Palace, with friends we are really more like family. In fact, over my years of eating there- jokingly ordering the #37 more times than I probably should have- I have made a few new friends over blintzes and egg creams. (And Manny- until know, I have kept my word about not telling anyone you took that cup home one Saturday afternoon. Nevermind that you own the place. :) )

I will miss the Palace- until it finds new life somewhere else. I eagerly look forward to its return!

Anonymous said...

This center is hardly bougie. Publix on one side and Kroger on the other. For goodness sake, steak and shake on one side and Wendy’s on the other! And a AAA quick oil change garage. What about the garden center, they sell dirt! So bougie. Also you guys are blaming Edens however you should be blaming Goldbergs. edens just simply needs a return on their investment, just like bp does. I am sure gold Bergs push them out in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. They had good bagels but the people who worked there were miserable, rude, and unhelpful. You sell bagels, don't act like you are doing people a favor when you take an order. Go be miserable someplace else.

Anonymous said...

Rude staff, dirty facility, and average food. Who saw this coming?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad to hear Bagel Palace has closed. Like others have said, it was a pleasant option to chains and to go where people knew and remembered you. Was it fine food? No -- it was what it was and I liked it for that. To Cheryl and all the others who waited on me and cooked my breakfast over the year, THANK YOU. Please let us know if you open at a new location! Best to all of you.

Anonymous said...

The owner was very rude, a real Weiner.

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