Black seed bagels are already becoming a neighborhood staple
Black Seed Bagels has only been open at 214 Berry St. for 11 days, but it’s already on its way to becoming a neighborhood staple. With its simplified menu and quality ingredients, the store experienced almost daily queues before the doors even opened. And for that, co-owner Noah Bernamoff is grateful.
“When you open a new store, you never know exactly how it’s going to go and hope for the best, and luckily Williamsburg has been such a good neighborhood, but I don’t know if we could have predicted the demand there was going to be, so we’re blown away by the reception, frankly,” Bernamoff said. “I was surprised at how quickly people showed up. [During the pandemic] we reduced our hours to 8am-3pm which was usually fine for a handful of our locations, but we walked out the door in Williamsburg and saw so much traffic early in the day.
The store features display cases showcasing freshly baked bagels (which are made throughout the day, not just in the morning), stools and counters for the lucky few who arrive early enough to claim them, retail items like branded tote bags and tumblers, and the first curbside pickup window in Black Seed history. The new location was designed with efficiency in mind to do what they do best: make a great bagel.
“We tried to build the installation to be as fast as possible. We recognize that one of the areas where we have not always been so successful is [speed] from ordering to delivering food, so that’s something we tried to design the store around,” Bernamoff explained.
When it comes to the menu, the Black Seed Bagels team (including co-owner Matt Kliegman and James Beard Award-nominated executive chef Dianna Daoheung) keeps it simple with just ten bagels and seven varieties of cream cheese, although that their bagels also serve as a base. for classic breakfast sandwiches, pizza bagels and other signature sandwiches like a reuben and AB&J (almond butter and jam). And while it doesn’t look like most other bagel shops in Brooklyn with a cream cheese display that seems to span an entire football field, the obvious quality and freshness of any bagel with cheese The veggie cream soup I ate made me consider a permanent change from my typical egg-bagel-with-dried-tomato-cream-cheese order.
As the store continues to settle in the neighborhood, customers can expect to see expanded hours of operation and potential new varieties of bagels or cream cheeses incorporating seasonal ingredients.
“We’ve rolled out new bagel flavors over the past few months, starting with Cinnamon Raisin, which I never thought would see the light of day, but we may be stubborn, but we’re not stubborn; people have spoken and we respond with their cinnamon raisin bagel,” Bernamoff mused. “We can’t wait to loosen up the menu a bit.”
In the future, Bernamoff would also like to do more things uniquely tailored to the Williamsburg market, but right now the team is primarily interested in making customers happy with the consistency that has become synonymous with Black Seed.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he said. “Our goal is simply to make sure that we do the things that are at the heart of our operations well and consistently; our trajectory is just as much about creating excitement as it is about consistency.