Collegetown Bagels customers will soon have to walk an extra block downtown to get their coffee and Zabs order. The beloved restaurant’s downtown branch will move from the corner of N. Aurora Street to the new City Centre Ithaca building along the Commons.
Gregor Brous, owner of Collegetown Bagels, said that he is aiming for “the end of the month” to open the new location at 301 E. State Street.
Brous noted that they had both push and pull motivations for migrating: the redevelopment of the Aurora Street corner and the coincidental construction of the new City Centre apartment building.
The new location at 301 E. State Street is more accessible, Brous said. There are more parking options available on the block, and the three loading zones around the store will allow customers and deliverers to quickly stop in, he said.
“The visibility is strong coming from East Hill or South Hill, and it is right off the Ithaca Commons,” said Brous.
Prime visibility is one of the reasons behind the success of the Collegetown location, Alex Loane ’21, a former employee of the Cornell-adjacent branch, told The Sun. That location will shutter in June of next year, also due to redevelopment.
Collegetown Bagels asked customers for feedback over the last year on improvements to make for the new location, with suggestions including increased ordering speed and more seating.
Brous said they have “worked hard to adjust” these aspects of the store. The amount and variety of seating is increased in the new shop, with options to eat or drink at a table with chairs, bar seating, stadium seating or stand-up bar tables.
There is also a salad and bowl line, Brous said, offering patrons customizable orders and more “healthy options.”
A self-serve kiosk will also give customers the opportunity to input their orders, which may be rolled out to other locations if customers like the feature, Brous said.
The range of beverages is expanding as well, with kombucha, cold brews and Ithaca root beer now offered on tap. Alcohol was not available at the previous 203 N. Aurora Street location, but the shop at 301 E. State Street will have a beer and wine license with a bar “accessible night and day.”