Bagel Palace isn’t re-opening yet—but there is hope

Owner Manny Klein is looking at a possible space in Decatur but hasn't yet signed a lease

Inside the now-defunct Bagel Palace in Toco Hills

Courtesy of Manny Klein

Bagel Palace—the beloved New York-style bagel shop that closed in Toco Hills a few years ago—may be resurrected, but not just yet.

Owner Manny Klein closed the restaurant in 2018 after the property was purchased and the new landlord allegedly planned to double the rent, he says. Since then, Klein says he’s been looking for a new location in the area; however, he has yet to find one that meets his needs.

Fans of the restaurant got excited a couple of weeks ago when Tomorrow’s News Today spotted the name Bagel Palace on a permit for a space in the Shamrock Plaza shopping center in Decatur. Klein says he has been negotiating with the plaza management “on and off for one-and-a-half years” but has not yet signed a lease.

“The rent was high, and the space is not the greatest configuration to open up a store,” he explains. “Also, Publix is in the shopping center. We used to make a lot of baked goods like Danish and rugelach. That was going to be constricted because we wouldn’t be allowed a bakery case.”

He says they wouldn’t be allowed to serve alcohol and or build a drive-through window, either, but were discussing the possibility of having patio space.

Shamrock Plaza co-owner Dale Holmes of T C Holmes & Son LLC says his team struggled to get county approval for patio seating in the space and that DeKalb is “even more restrictive on drive-through lanes than they used to be.”

“We’re all trying to look after our interests the best we can,” Holmes says. “It’s just part of doing business.”

Despite the roadblocks, Klein says he’s still considering Shamrock Plaza, while also looking at other spots around the city, from Chamblee to Buckhead to Decatur—ideally, one with a patio.

“It’ll be the same sit-down and take out we had in Toco Hills,” he says. “The debate was wait service versus self-serve. I’m leaning [toward] waitstaff.”

He admits the COVID-19 pandemic made him pause before committing to anything.

“Right now, with the virus, we don’t know what’s going to happen. To invest now would be a little premature,” he says.  “I feel terrible because our customers are family. We had 60,000 hits on our Facebook page the weekend we closed.”

“Hopefully, the economy will pick back up and businesses will flourish again,” Holmes says.