Block’s Bagels Opening Broad Street Location
In its 50th year of business, Block’s Bagels is making some locale and leadership changes. This January, Block’s Bagels will open a second store on East Broad Street just outside Bexley to better cater to their main clientele.
Hal and Steve Block, the father-son duo running the business, turned to long-time family friend Jeremy Fox to head the new store. Fox has had a key to Block’s for five years, using its kitchen as a commissary for the Short North Bagel Deli — the food cart he started in 2011. His exclusive access to the Block’s kitchen came out of a long history with the Block family in which Fox and his own father would help make bagels annually around the holidays as “kind of a tradition.”
Fox’s involvement in this new project started about a year ago. After closing down their old location in March, the Blocks found the building at 3012 E. Broad St., an area Fox thought better met the needs of the business.
“It was just a better area,” Fox said. “That building was run down. We saw a good opportunity to move closer to Bexley, which is the primary clientele.”
While Fox won’t actually own the Block’s Bagels name, he’ll be licensing its brand and running the new location as his own store. The core menu of bagels, breads and baked goods will see some additions, including steamed deli sandwiches that Fox currently sells at his food cart. He’ll also offer some deep fried items and grab ’n’ go salads.
He calls it a bridging of the old and new. Hoping to be the future of Block’s, Fox’s plans go beyond just evolving the menu; he wants to reinvent the theme. In a brand new building, with brand new equipment, Fox hopes to pay homage to the bagel shop’s history by using signage from the old location and photos of Steve and Hal Block, the old store, and old staff. It’s an attempt to make the store his own without losing its quintessential “Block-ness” that keeps customers coming back.
“Block’s has very, very loyal customers that have been going to the one just outside of Bexley for 25 years,” he said. “So I do want them to know that they’re going to be able to get the same thing they got for the last 25 years, and they don’t have to worry about the menu changing.”
Once Fox opens Block’s, his brother-in-law will take over the Short North Bagel Deli. Fox is ready for a brick and mortar location that will allow him (and his employees) better hours. He’s looking to hire between 15 and 25 people right now for the new store, which will seat about 60 once the weather allows for outdoor seating again.
Once the new Block’s is off the ground, Fox hopes to open more, starting with the OSU campus.
“It’s just [bagel delis] are really popular on campuses,” he said. “And I can’t believe there’s not one at OSU yet.”
Fox hopes to do a soft opening by Christmas, where he’ll invite in homeless veterans (organization yet to be determined) to help work out any problems before the store’s grand opening in early January.
For more information, visit www.blocksbagels.com.