Cocky’s Bagels opens a trendy new location
Bagel sandwiches are a much-loved brunch and lunchtime staple, rarely seen in the world of late-night fine dining. But Cocky’s BagelsThe newest restaurant, located smack in the middle of Cleveland’s East Bank Apartments at 1127 Old River Road, is about to change that.
On weekends, the restaurant’s opening hours will reach nearly 24-hour capacity, opening early and early at 7 a.m. and closing at 3 a.m. In addition to a fun drink menu, Cocky’s will be serving food until 2:50 a.m. (10 minutes before closing).
“I don’t know when we’re going to sleep,” said company co-owner Natalie Bata. “We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Then again, Bata and her fiancé and co-owner of the business, Keene Cockburn, have already figured that part out.
Back when they pioneered the concept of Cocky’s Bagels — named after a play on Cockburn’s last name — it took the form of a rambling food trailer they purchased on Craigslist. The goal was for Cockburn to bake tasty bagel sammies for the masses. Bata also found inspiration in the Bagel & Deli Shop, a staple of her time studying at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio.
Hitched to a rusty 1995 pickup truck nicknamed “Old Blue,” Bata said Cocky’s Bagels’ early days were a far cry from its future hip brick-and-mortar locations in Cleveland and North Olmsted.
But the menu – a mix of breakfast sandwiches, toast and standard lunch sandwiches, all served on bagels – quickly gained a large fan base in northeast Ohio that has regularly drove sales at his early events, some of which took place outside of Around the Corner, where Bata once worked as a bartender.
“I was supposed to go to medical school; I was a bartender to try to offset the costs and Keene had his full-time job,” Bata said. “On weekends, we did it from, like, 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. It has become a late night staple in Lakewood.
Cocky’s Bagels’ first storefront opened in North Olmsted in 2019, and its success saw Cocky’s expand to Flats in 2020. Flats developer Scott Wolstein approached Bata and Cockburn with the idea of bring the concept to the new Flats development on Old River Road, says Bata.
Once a liquor license entered the conversation, Bata and Cockburn could imagine that their restaurant would fit right in with the neighborhood.
“That’s when we were like, ‘Okay, now we’re talking. Now it makes more sense for us to be here, in particular,” Bata said. “The goal was always to come downtown and always expand our brand and reach more people in Cleveland.”
Cocky’s Bagels’ Flats location features vibrant neon lights, plants, and TVs tuned to sports games in nearly every corner. A garage door opens to a patio bar, with a row of swinging seats swinging outside.
“It’s basically an extended version of North Olmsted, an upgraded version of it. Over there, we literally did everything by hand,” Bata said. we were able to figure out how to make it fit our theme and vibe, but we also added a level of sophistication.”
Coupled with the playful layout, drinks and dining menus complement each other: look no further than the “Big Daddy” breakfast sandwich stacked with bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns and cheese. cheese, and the Bloody Mary drink “Big Mama Mary”. topped with a hash brown, sausage, bacon and olive patty, with an all-bagel seasoned rim.
The menu also features a variety of coffee drinks, some with alcoholic versions — like an espresso martini and a spiked vanilla latte — and, soon, waffles and ice cream. Belly filling options like pizza bagels, Italian sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, acai bowls and salads will also be available to order.
Cockburn and Bata saw growing success with their local concept, and that success began to spread outside of northeast Ohio. Cocky’s Bagels is set to open its first location in Columbus in 2023, and the couple also aim to franchise the company’s bagel sandwich version in other locations.
But first, they’ll be opening the Flats spot this weekend.
Cocky’s Bagels is set to host its grand opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 2. Alongside the opening, customers can also enjoy a Browns Show Night with music, giveaways and vendors according to a Cocky’s Bagels Instagram Post.
“We never thought we would have a bar in the apartments, so it’s a really good feeling,” Bata said. “We have Cleveland to thank because they support us through everything.”
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