New York classic Ess-a-Bagel made its official return to First Avenue today after soft-opening over the weekend. This is the second First Avenue outpost for the bagel makers who closed the 39-year-old original at 21st Street last year after a dispute with the landlord. At the time, Ess-a-Bagel's owner David Wilpon said that the landlord's decision to not renew the lease was an effort to push out independent businesses, while the landlord said they did their best to make a deal. Ultimately, the two parties could not come to an agreement on rent.
After closing in March 2015, and after an awful lot of back and forth, Ess-a-Bagel decided on 324 First Avenue, the Stuyvesant Town-side of the street formerly a Game Shop location. The now 40-year-old cafe, which also oversees a Third Avenue location between 51 and 50 Streets, specializes in homemade bagels served with more than 20 cream cheese options, including strawberry, olive, raisin walnut, and sun-dried tomato. Ess-A-Bagel is also known for offering a bevy of sandwich and salad options like The Pepe, a roast beef and bacon sandwich with cheese, and the Melanie Special which is whitefish salad with nova on a bagel.
Starting today, Ess-a-Bagel First Avenue 2.0 opens daily at 6:00 a.m. As for the 21st Street original, it's now an outpost of Upper East Side favorite Tal Bagels.