Eastdale Avenue Bagels opens to owners of Athena Gyro in Poughkeepsie
Alex Maravegias works hard to please people.
Most days he’s at work at 4 a.m. making bagels at his new Eastdale Avenue Bagels in the town of Poughkeepsie. Many mornings he is joined by his father, Georgios.
Both make water bagels, which Maravegias says “is a more traditional way to do it. It gives shine on the outside and crust and a nice softness on the inside.”
It’s a meticulous process.
The first step is to light the ovens. While preheating, Maravegias processes bagel dough that has been rolled out and risen overnight. The bagels are first boiled and then baked in state-of-the-art rotary ovens. (Unlike most loaves of bread, bagels are actually boiled before being baked, giving them their unique chewy texture.)
Maravegias and his father also own The Athena Gyro in LaGrangeville and the duo are set to open a second Athena in Fishkill.
Bagels, however, were her dream.
“When I was younger, in high school looking for my first job, I got a job at a bagel shop and I’ve loved it ever since,” he says. “I worked for them for 7 or 8 years, in high school and then in college.”
The opportunity to start a new business with his father was appealing, he said, noting that as a child his father actually ran a bagel shop.
“We wanted to do this together,” he says. “Eastdale Village still had a storefront available when we spoke to them and they were excited about what we wanted to do. It’s a nice community, but the area needed a bagel shop.”
Eastdale Village is a $90 million, 60-acre commercial and rental development in the east end of the town of Poughkeepsie. When completed, it will include 400 residential units, a community building with a swimming pool and a small movie theatre.
In addition to Eastdale Avenue Bagels, Sweetbakes Cafe, Amanda’s Macaron Shop, Pizzeria Posto, the Crafted Kup and Spoons & Ice Cream have already opened, with several other restaurants and retailers, including Rossi & Sons, set to open in 2022.
The perfect bagel
Maravegias says the secret to a perfect bagel isn’t just water, which is an important factor. “But if it was just water, we’d be like all the other bagels here,” he says. His bagels are a process, proofing the dough, boiling it for the right amount of time, and adding premium ingredients. “The kitchen is open so customers can see me cooking, the oven and the whole process.”
On a busy weekend, Maravegias bakes over a thousand bagels.
Currently, its Everything bagel is the best seller, followed by plain bagels, but there is a wide variety, including blueberry bagels which are popular with kiddos; it also sells gluten-free Greater Need frozen bagels. The shop offers an extensive menu of spreads, from vegan and vegan cream cheese to lox. He bakes his own muffins, scones and croissants on site and offers Boars Head deli meats, house tuna, chicken and egg salads for lunch.
The store is compact, which means there is no indoor seating, but with the warmer spring weather, it expects to add sidewalk tables.
So far, customer response has been positive, says Maravegias. “They love the store. It’s a nice feeling. I was a little nervous, but if it becomes a hit, we’ve started off on the right foot.”
As for working with his father?
“Some people can and some people can’t. At the end of the day, he’s still my dad and that’s an easy thing. We work really well together and we’ve done that together for years.”
He says fans can expect Athena Gyro to open on Main Street in Fishkill this week. The menu will mirror that of their LaGrangeville store.
If you are going to
What: Eastdale Ave. Bagels
Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Sunday
Address: 35 Eastdale Avenue North, Poughkeepsie, 845-595-8711