Drive-in bagel shop a hot pit stop in Los Angeles

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Goldstein's Bagel Bakery was opened as a drive-in (or "drivethrough," as some purists have it) in September in the suburb of Arcadia.

Business is booming, as more than 5,000 bagels are passed through car windows daily. Annual sales are expected to top $3 million.

The enterprise was founded by Michael Goldstein, a former stockbroker, and his wife, Bridget Goldstein, who previously opened a conventional bagel bakery in Old Pasadena.

"My wife and I have two kids and we use the drive-through a lot, because it's convenient," Goldstein told the Los Angeles Times. "So we decided if we opened another bakery, it would be a drive-through."

Timing is everything, and the Goldsteins owe part of their success to the evolution of the bagel from an ethnic specialty to an ecumenical favorite.

"Bagels have replaced the doughnut as the food to bring to the office," Goldstein said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has confirmed the trend by reporting $500 million in bagel sales last year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Tom Tugend

JTA Los Angeles correspondent