DeKALB – Barb City Bagels owner Tim Hayes’ inbox has been littered with messages over the past six weeks.
“When are you opening back up?! We miss your bagels!!” a message on Facebook read.
Barb City Bagels, which closed its original shop at 122 S. First St. in May, is set to reopen Saturday inside the Cornerstone building in downtown DeKalb – becoming the first tenant to move into the four-story, $7.5 million project at Lincoln Highway and First Street.
“It’s encouraging to know we have a niche here in town,” Hayes said. “We can’t wait to get back open. We’ve had so many messages – people are dying without their bagels. We’re extremely excited to reopen our doors.”
Hayes said moving one block north onto Lincoln Highway should help attract new customers.
“Having our sign on Lincoln Highway will help significantly,” he said. “Our visibility will be much higher.”
The shop’s relocation hasn’t been the only move for Hayes. He and his wife, Bobbi, moved from their home in Cortland to an apartment in downtown DeKalb to be closer to the family business. Their son, Aaron, also lives in DeKalb and works as a manager at the shop.
“We’re excited about what’s happening downtown,” Hayes said. “We moved to an apartment downtown just to be part of the downtown area. We think the renovations are a very positive thing. We want to be part of it not only with our business, but personally, as well.
“We’re committed to what’s happening in downtown DeKalb,” he said.
Barb City Bagels’ new location will feature the same menu, including favorites such as salmon lox and cream cheese, asiago and everything bagels. The shop will include two new items: gourmet doughnuts and Hershey’s ice cream. Hayes said because of the addition of ice cream to its menu, Barb City Bagels is exploring the idea of extending its hours of operation into the evening.
“We’re upgrading our quality of meats and cheeses,” he said. “We feel like that will be a good thing with name recognition with our menu items. We can’t wait to see what these new additions bring to the business.”
Hayes said the shop plans to debut two new bagels during Corn Fest, which begins Aug. 24. On deck is a new cornbread-based bagel, along with a new fried bagel.
“We’re constantly developing new bagel flavors,” he said. “A ‘fragel’ is cinnamon raisin bagel, deep-fried and covered in butter and powdered sugar. ... The cornbread bagel will be a hit during Corn Fest.”
Hayes said the transition between moving shops was supposed to last only a few weeks, but the process was delayed by complications with a transformer in the new building. Barb City Bagels is set to undergo inspection from the city on Thursday and officially reopen on Saturday.
“We’ll have all our current customers come back and we’re going to be in a building with 51 new apartments,” Hayes said. “They all need their breakfast and bagels, too. We’re looking forward to being able to serve our community again.”