Bethesda Bagels is temporarily closed, but its owner plans to bring the longtime bagel shop back in a few weeks with a new look and expanded menu.
The Bethesda Avenue store closed Jan. 15 for renovations. Owner Stephen Fleishman said Monday it was time for an upgrade to the location, which has served bagels and sandwiches in that space for nearly 30 years.
“When we built the store in 1991, it was built for business in 1991,” Fleishman said. “Things have changed quite a bit.”
The additions will include opening up the front of the store so customers don’t feel as crowded, and adding a grill that will allow for some new menu items to be offered, which Fleishman said he couldn’t reveal yet.
Bethesda Bagels will also move its sandwich-making station from the front of the store to “behind the scenes,” he said. The shop will have a different look that follows the appearance of the company’s Navy Yard location.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re going to do a better job at what we do,” he said. “Bethesda deserves it for sure.”
Fleishman plans to reopen the store in late February or early March, and said catering and delivery is still available from the other two Bethesda Bagels in Washington, D.C., which remain open.
The Bethesda store first opened near its current location in Bethesda in 1982 before moving to 4819 Bethesda Ave. in 1991. Fleishman said he has no plans of leaving anytime soon—the new lease extends until 2031.
Meanwhile, Fleishman is looking at expanding. He’s opening another Bethesda Bagels in Rosslyn, Virginia, this summer.