Emily Winston at the site-to-be of her first Boichik Bagels location, which was formerly the first Noah's location (Photo/Alix Wall)
Emily Winston at the site-to-be of her first Boichik Bagels location, which was formerly the first Noah's location, May 2018. (Alix Wall)

Boichik Bagels pop-up goes brick-and-mortar at original Noah’s location

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The owner of Boichik Bagels, the pop-up that is trying to bring a real New York bagel to the Bay Area, has signed a contract to open her first East Bay brick-and-mortar shop in an incredibly auspicious location. And the store may even end up being kosher.

Almost 30 years after Noah’s Bagels established its first outpost, Boichik Bagels will open later this year in the storefront of the original Noah’s, on College Avenue near Alcatraz in Berkeley.

“This was the first New York-themed bagel experience in the Bay Area, and now 29 years later, the New York bagel will rise again,” said owner Emily Winston, who couldn’t be more excited about the location.

Alper holds up a bagel
Noah’s Bagels founder Noah Alper (Photo/Cathleen Maclearie)

Noah Alper, creator of the original Noah’s who sold the chain in 1996, was the one who tipped Winston off to the location’s availability. It had housed a Noah’s Bagels continuously until it closed recently.

“The prospect of a high-quality kosher bagel operation in the original Noah’s store on College Avenue is very exciting,” said Alper. “Emily and I are in discussions regarding a consultative role for me in her new venture.”

“I want as many people as possible to enjoy a great bagel,” said Winston, who is also talking about the possibility of the store being kosher.

Meanwhile, Winston has her work cut out for her. She needs all new equipment for her bagels and a full remodel is in order (Noah’s were steamed before baking, rather than boiled first).

Winston, who grew up in New Jersey, is an adherent of the H&H bagel from Manhattan and was the subject of an Organic Epicure column earlier this year.

Since learning how to make bagels in her home kitchen in Alameda, she has gained accolades. The East Bay Express called her bagels “a game-changer,” and they came in first place in a competition called Bagala! featuring bagels from many Bay Area purveyors. At pop-ups in Alameda and Oakland, all of her bagels have sold out (she can make only nine dozen at a time), with long lines forming before opening time.

Winston sees Boichik as an appetizing shop, featuring various shmears and smoked fish, but no deli sandwiches.

She hopes Boichik Bagels will be open before year’s end.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."