Bagel lovers and UC Berkeley students hoping to grab a quick bite at Noah’s Bagels on Telegraph Avenue were disappointed when they found a sign on the shop’s front door announcing its closure Jan. 21.
The sign, hung on the covered windows of the shop, redirected customers to Noah’s other locations in Oakland and Berkeley and announced a new shop that will open on Berkeley Way in May 2019.
Campus freshman Hadar Gamliel was surprised to learn about the location’s closing. She said Noah’s Bagels was the only bagel shop she knew in proximity to campus and that its pricing was affordable compared to other coffee shops.
“I’m really sad. I felt like Noah’s Bagels was iconic and (a) great stop on the way to class. They had such a great atmosphere, even just walking by it,” Gamliel said. “I was genuinely looking forward to going to Noah’s over the semester.”
Noah’s Bagels was founded in 1989 by Noah Alper and opened its first location on College Avenue. The shop became a franchise after expanding to Solano, Telegraph and Durant avenues. In 1995, Alper sold the company to Einstein Bros. Bagels, under Coffee & Bagel Brands, for $100 million.
The franchise further expanded its reach by supplying bagels to several cafes around Berkeley, including K’s Coffee House, Caffe Strada, Le Bateau Ivre and the Bancroft Hotel.
Executive Director of the Telegraph Business Improvement District Stuart Baker said in an email that the shop was scheduled to close at the end of January, but Coffee & Bagel Brands decided to close the location earlier.
Baker said in an email that Noah’s Bagels’ Telegraph Avenue location is “too small a space for the new concept” and that the location closed because “the company is focusing on larger footprint spaces for their new business model, as evidenced by their space in Temescal.”
One of these spaces is Noah’s Bagels’ Temescal Plaza location that opened last February. The 2,300-square-foot store features larger dining rooms, craft coffee, tea, kombucha on tap and a baking area separated by clear glass where customers can see how bagels are made.
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Marketing Vice President and Noah’s Bagels media relations representative Teka O’Rourke said in a statement to the East Bay Times that the company wanted to develop a more contemporary concept for its new business model.
“I just feel like Noah’s was one of the only breakfast places; now we have one less breakfast place,” said campus freshman Laura Pietragallo. “It was really cute and it was a comfortable place. It didn’t need to be upgraded; I’m going to miss it.”