Popular Court Street restaurant Bagel Street Deli announced last week they would be expanding their storefront into the recently-vacated Mountain Laurel Gifts building, which will increase dining and kitchen space.
Bagel Street Deli (BSD), announced the expansion on Facebook, following the closure of Mountain Laurel Gifts, in early January.
Megan Meyer, owner of BSD, said she was sad to see Mountain Laurel Gifts go, but she could not pass up the opportunity for growth.
“We just kind of felt like we wanted to double down and commit to this — and take the opportunity as it presented itself,” Meyer said.
Meyer said one of the driving factors in the decision was the limited indoor space of the current BSD venue. Portions of the restaurant’s interior have been described as a hallway — and Meyer said the expansion would change that.
“We’re spatially challenged, COVID made that even more evident,” Meyer said.
Since the pandemic, BSD has been operating via window service. Meyer said this change helped her business pivot to the times, and that she believes customers responded well to the new strategy.
Meyer said the expansion will bring a variety of seating types to the restaurant to make it a more family-friendly dining establishment, as bringing ADA compliance to the new wing of the building.
The expansion will also increase the size of the kitchen, Meyer said. This will help the business expand into a long-term project, catering. She also said a larger and more open kitchen will help workers process customer’s orders more quickly.
“So hopefully we can move people in and out much quicker,” Meyer said.
She also said a larger kitchen will help BSD “broaden” it’s menu with more side dishes, salads and soups down the line.
BSD will not be removing the walls entirely to open up to the new space due to load-bearing requirements, Meyer said, but the new space will be connected to the old one in three locations.
As for the carefully-crafted aluminum sculptures that customers place into the bricks at BSD, Meyer said some of the more impressive pieces of art will be preserved and reinserted, but the walls are regularly tidied up regardless.
She added that expanded space will allow for even more expressive sandwich wrapper art.
“Hopefully there will be a lot more room for aluminum artwork,” Meyer said.
The project is currently awaiting approval from the state, Meyer said. She added she hopes construction will start in April and the new space will be open for customers by the beginning of the next Fall semester.