The smell of Oso Negro coffee may be the first thing you notice when you walk into the newly reopened Bagels and Brew in the Kootenay Crossing Mall in Castlegar.
Either that, or your eye will be drawn to the outstanding artwork on the walls, the cheerful staff behind the counter, the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner or perhaps even someone interesting in the line-up waiting for take-out.
“I want Bagels and Brew to be the spot where people come to get a great cup of coffee, hang out or take it with them, a fantastic homemade meal, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or a homemade baked goodie,” said new owner Sarah Holliday on Monday, July 29. “We are working on some grab and go lunch items for you to take to work when you grab a coffee in the morning. We definitely have some healthy options, not everything, but it’s definitely all homemade.”
Holliday has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, with four years at Boston Pizza as a server, supervisor and cook. She also ran the cafeteria at the high school in Nelson for two years.
“It’s pretty fast-paced feeding 500 kids a day,” she laughed.
With seating for approximately 25 in the bright eatery, there’s ample space to sit and enjoy a specialty coffee, matcha lemonade, smoothie, or choose from a number of food items.
If you’re an early riser, the restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and a toasted bacon breakfast bagel or wrap may be the perfect start to the day.
The restaurant also offers catering services and all of the three full-time and one part-time staff do the cooking and baking.
If relaxing weekends are more your style, pop in on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for lunch or an early dinner or Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We have sandwiches, soups, salads, bagels, wraps and paninis,” said Holliday. “We’re planning to offer a lot more gluten-free items, too.”
Holliday stressed that everything at Bagels and Brew is homemade and that she was looking forward to growing the business in Castlegar.
“I hope it gets huge,” she laughed. ” I’d like to see the catering pick up and we will definitely be doing a lot more baking.”
The shop received a nice facelift on the day we were there for our interview, with Pura Vida Foundation founder Nathan Beninger decorating the walls with beautiful photography from around the world.
“It’s pretty amazing thing he’s dedicated his life to,” said Holliday. “Bagels and Brew is teaming up with the Pura Vida Foundation to raise money from sales of the artwork to fund a shelter that houses abused and impoverished children in Peru. A part of our revenue as well as 100 per cent of the photography sales will go to this amazing organization.”
The restaurant is also a stop on the Castlegar Artwalk and display sworn from artist Michael Kelly.
Bagels and Brew is at Kootenay Crossing Mall, 108-1983 Columbia Avenue (near McDonalds and Boston Pizza). They have a Facebook page set up as HERE.