Nick Beitcher, owner of Midnite Bagel, which is now in its own production space.
Nick Beitcher, owner of Midnite Bagel, which is now in its own production space.

Former Tartine baker’s Midnite Bagel expands production into S.F.’s Dogpatch

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Midnite Bagel, one of the local bagel businesses that caused New York Times food critic Tejal Rao to declare Bay Area bagels superior to New York’s, has just moved into its own production facility in San Francisco’s Dogpatch. That makes it the second bagel business to set up headquarters in the neighborhood next to Potrero Hill (Daily Driver was the first).

Midnite, which specializes in a sourdough whole-wheat variety of bagel, is owned by Jewish baker Nick Beitcher, former head bread baker at the iconic San Francisco bakery Tartine, which specializes in bread of that variety. He began Midnite as a pop-up at Tartine, selling his bagels in the evenings, hence the name.

Though born in San Francisco, Beitcher grew up mostly in New York and Los Angeles, where bagels were “the closest thing we had to an ethnic staple,” he told J.

Just as the pandemic started, Beitcher left Tartine to strike out on his own and built up a following. Most recently he was baking his bagels at the “food innovation hub” Kitchentown in San Mateo, where many Bay Area brands have gotten their start.

He’s been selling the bagels at the Ferry Building farmers market on Saturdays, as well as a few other of the city’s farmers markets.

Located in the American Industrial Center, a huge, historic warehouse with nearly 300 businesses, Midnight Bagel is about a block from Daily Driver, giving San Francisco bagel fans quite a choice to make.

Midnite Bagels can now be picked up in Dogpatch, along with other city locations including Bi-Rite Markets, the Epicurean Trader and a few cafés. They’re also coming soon to Berkeley Bowl. Beitcher said in addition to starting a wholesale presence he will be increasing production, much like Boichik Bagels did (the Berkeley shop also appeared in the Times article).

Beitcher said the article definitely helped him move forward with his business. In addition to the new production space, he hopes to open his first retail location in the first quarter of 2022.

“We presold $8,000 worth of bagels in 72 hours, and we had to block our preorders for the next few months,” he said. “There was just me and one other baker. Suddenly we were able to bring on three other bakers and staff to work the farmers markets. It gave us the momentum we needed to move to the next level, and obviously it created a little bit of controversy, which turned out to be a positive.”

Besides the usual offerings, Midnite bakes several different kinds of bread: a country rye and pumpernickel, both made in the sourdough whole-grain style he’s known for, and a crowd-favorite: buckwheat black sesame loaf.

The markets all have sandwiches available with pretty classic cream cheese schmears, “nothing too crazy,” he said.

Midnite Bagels can be preordered and picked up at 1176 Illinois St., S.F.

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."