By Jill Fox
It may seem like a difficult time to open a business, however, this bagel chain is forging ahead.
With newly decorated walls adorned with images of bagels, various greetings, and a fresh coat of paint, Family Bagels of Long Island is now open in the Sawgrass Center on Coral Ridge Drive.
Formerly Westside Bagels, the restaurant closed when owner, Geoffrey Lichtman, unexpectedly died November 2019.
Now owned by Long Island Native, Neal Schatt, and his South Florida business partner, Steve Corn, this is the third Family Bagels location to open in the last four years.
With two others in Coconut Creek and Cooper City, Corn said they weren’t planning to open a third so quickly. Still, this location was what he wanted before he left New York — and unsuccessfully tried twice to snag the desirable corner spot.
“Although it was unfortunate circumstances how this came about, I had to find a way to get us in here and do the right thing,” he said.
As far as the present uncertainty in the world, Corn admitted it’s a little nerve-racking, not knowing what’s going to happen. He said they already keep an immaculate store, and everyone in the back always wears gloves, and they clean daily and nightly.
Currently, they are wiping down the menus after each table uses them, and trying to do everything they can to make sure everyone is protected. If necessary, they may start a curbside delivery, where they will bring food out to customers’ cars.
“That would be something to make it easier on the community and keep the social distancing to a minimum,” he said.
Corn lives in Parkland’s Heron Bay community with his wife, 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. In true family fashion, Corn’s daughter Sydney, helps him at the restaurant, greeting guests while working the register.
He said his family loves living in Parkland, and they know there’s a demand for the restaurant, which he feels can bring better quality and a friendlier atmosphere for everybody.
“It’s been an institution here for the better part of 15 years, and we bring a higher quality than they’ve ever had before, which is what Parkland and Coral Springs deserve.”
Main staples, like the bagel dough, coffee and nova all come from New York, and Corn said, that’s what sets them apart, the real New York quality products that are superior to most other places around.
The new location will mirror the others with the same menu and friendly atmosphere, as well as take-out and delivery options in the near future. New additions include pre-packaged dinners for patrons on the run and a drive-thru set to open in about a month, as well as longer hours, with quick service-style dining available daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Corn said they have a wide variety of selections on the menu with something for everybody.
“We have healthy options, like lettuce leaf wraps and cucumber sandwiches, as well as the stuff that clogs up your arteries,” he said, “And with everything, we try to bring the best we can find.”
Family Bagels of Coral Springs is located at 5906 Coral Ridge Drive. They are open every day from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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