Bantam Bagels sells for a whopping $34 million
Bantam Bagels, the Greenwich Village bagel shop that stuffs flavored cream cheeses inside bagel balls, has sold for $34 million. Owners Elyse and Nick Oleksak sold to T. Marzetti Co., a subsidiary of Lancaster Colony, but will continue to operate the Manhattan shop at 283 Bleecker St. Bantam’s bagels are now also in more than 9,000 Starbucks locations, in grocery stores, online, and on QVC. In 2015, two years after opening, Bantam appeared on Shark Tank, scoring $275,000 in investment from Lori Greiner in exchange for 25 percent of the business.
There’s now a Westville Bakery
Slightly ahead of schedule, vegetable go-to Westville has opened an East Village bakery. It’s the first standalone bakery for the reliable American full-service chain, located in the former Zucker space at 433 East Ninth St. between First Avenue and Avenue A. Pastry chef Meital Cohen is selling sweets such as carrot cake, apple and blueberry pies, assorted cookies, and seasonal specials like a dragon fruit smoothie bowl with berries, almond butter, and granola. There are also savory items such as tartines with smoked trout, crème fraîche, and chives, as well as various quiches.
Other openings, closings, and coming attractions
A sandwich shop called Po’ Mi has opened in Bed-Stuy, serving up po’boys and banh mi, side by side. Owners Holly Sheppard and Savannah Jordan have an impressive resume between them, with experience at restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin. Walker Hotel, headed to Tribeca at 396 Broadway, will have four restaurants, including a 3,000-square-foot rooftop lounge, a ground-floor American restaurant, and a basement cocktail bar. Across town, chicken shop Spinner’s at 536 East 14th St. has reopened with pizza, a new halal shawarma restaurant called Sammy’s is now open at 109 First Ave., and Alphabet Pizza and Deli is headed for 20 Avenue A. But short-lived Hawaiian bakery Mahalo at 443 East Ninth St. will close, using the space as a wholesale and pop-up kitchen.
Times critic finds standout Dominican food in the Bronx
Times critic Ligaya Mishan doesn’t find much to dislike at Ajo y Orégano in Parkchester, the Bronx. The “tiny” Dominican restaurant serves up top-notch renditions of braised oxtails, “airy golden” fried chicken, tripe soup, roast pork, and other such Dominican delicacies. Even the “bounty of the steam table,” with its chicken stew, fried sea bass, and barbecue pork ribs, turns out praise from Mishan. It’s a family affair, with siblings Enver and Jeudy Perez as owners, their mother and brother helping run operations, and their aunts in the kitchen. Mishan says while it’s an “electric” place, it’s too small — though a second location is on the way in Belmont.