AUSTIN, Texas — Opening a new restaurant can be scary, and with the past 22 months of uncertainty from COVID-19, it can be even scarier for business owners like Tom Rosen.
A couple of weeks ago, Rosen opened his first brick-and-mortar location of Rosen's Bagels.
"We signed the lease back in February thinking, you know, the pandemic might be over by the time we get open and we'll be good to go," Rosen told one of the customers on Sunday morning.
But long before the bagels made it to the front of the store – even long before there was a front of the store – a lot of work went into this business.
"Yeah, started in 2017," said Rosen. "Then, we started daily service in Wright Bros. Brew and Brew, where we were selling bagels every day. Then, [we] slowly built the company to be selling to about 20 different coffee shops."
All of that added to wholesales. Rosen told KVUE the company did well. But creating a traditional bagel shop was always the goal.
"Bagels are a pretty nostalgic food for many people, and part of that nostalgia involves going to a physical location … having your shop. So for us, having a brick-and-mortar was always a part of the goal and the picture," said Rosen.
It's a picture that has had to change a bit, but it still ultimately opened.
"In addition to taking general precautions for COVID, we are not doing any in-seat dining," Rosen added. "We're just making it all grab-and-go."
Rosen still hopes to bring people in, even if opening a restaurant right now is a bit scary.
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