For the second time in as many months, New York bagels were flown in overnight for hungry San Franciscans this past weekend; but this time, there were no hour-long lines or bagel shortages.
Eastside Bagels was conceived by tech consultant Sonya Haines and restaurateur Wes Rowe, who both felt the Bay Area lacked a truly good New York-style bagel. After discovering that legendary Manhattan appetizing store Russ & Daughters handles overnight shipping, they arranged for 120 bagels to be shipped. The pop-up business debuted last month in the Mission District restaurant Dear Mom, serving both bagels with cream cheese for $6 each, and sandwiches of lox, egg, pastrami, or kale for $10.
But hundreds of San Franciscans showed up, standing in the chilly rain for hours before the shop even opened. Understaffed, Eastside quickly sold out of their whole supply, but took hours to serve everyone, and turned away many customers empty-handed. Bloggers criticized the hype and the “hipster bread line.”
For its second outing, Eastside was careful to order several extra dozen bagels, hire an additional chef, and limit its toppings to just lox and a selection of cream cheeses.
A half-hour into the bagel event last week, Dear Mom wrote on Instagram that there was no line at all–a stark difference from the first pop-up, despite clear skies and temperatures in the 70s.
Was it food trend fatigue, or just better planning? Inside Scoop SF caught up with the customers who did show up; several commented that they just wanted the unique delicious treats, which they couldn’t find locally.