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February 02, 1996 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PHOTO BY DAN IEL LIPPIU



A national bagel

chain has nixed

plans to locate
in downtown

Royal Oak, but it

will try to claim the
distinction of being
the first to offer

kosher bagels

elsewhere.

IB agels + cappuccino =
profit is generally a fool-
proof equation. For Ein-
stein Bros. Bagels, it
doesn't compute, at least
not in downtown Royal
Oak.
But the company may
have an idea with the ring of ge-
nius: Opening the area's first
kosher bagel shop in another lo-
cation.
Einstein Bros. Bagels is the
newest kid in a town rolling
in bagel dough. Part of the Boston
Market dynasty, the chain is
looking to open a dozen locations
in the metropolitan area within
the year, including a kosher out-
let at Maple and Telegraph roads
in Bloomfield Township.
Its first location in Grosse
Pointe is two months old and
thriving, says Jerry Filler, dis-
trict manager of the Detroit
and Toledo markets. A second
Ann Arbor store opened last
week, and others are planned in

he says.
"The controversy was two
months ahead of any reality. We
never had a signed lease, a deal,
nothing beyond an interest," he
says. "The issue she had was not
an issue with us; it was with her
landlord. Her landlord was the
one who began talking to us, and
it's his choice whether to sell to
us or not."
Ms. Lichtenstein, who moved
her store into Royal Oak 10 years
ago from Dearborn, wasn't di-
rectly involved in any protest, but
she had her publicist call local
media outlets and urged her cus-
tomers to write to Einstein head-
quarters in Colorado and to her
landlord to express their outrage.
"I just wanted to alert their
(Einstein's) audience, which was
mom and pop, that the corpora-
tion was trying to move out mom
and pop to sell mom and pop
bagels," Ms. Lichtenstein explains.
"We created Royal Oak, the
stores like mine. Alternative
stores are what got people into
Royal Oak. For some corporation
to come in and think they can just
oust ifs — I wasn't going to go
without a fight." Had Einstein
been successful, she says, she
would have moved Cinderella's
Attic a few miles south to Fern-
dale.
When Einstein was consider-
ing the space, Mr. Rosenbloom
already had plans to move his
music store to Fourth and Wash-
ington streets a block away. He
still plans on moving, but he's
glad, he says, that the bagel shop
is going elsewhere.
"There are enough bagel shops,
let alone restaurants, as it is. We
just didn't need them. They
would've displaced five retail
shops. I don't even think they
took that into account," he says.
Ms. Lichtenstein says her
Actually, Einstein Bros. was
Southfield and the Royal Oak
landlord informed her that Ein- mindful of the impact it could
area.
Its fourth location would have stein had offered him lots of mon- have had on Royal Oak, Mr.
been in downtown Royal Oak, in ey to oust his tenants and make Filler says.
"Going with our neighborhood
a prime downtown spot, but for room for a bagel store.
The offer grew, she says, to mindset, it doesn't favor us to go
the fury of surrounding mer-
about $50,000, as did the protests somewhere where people have a
chants.
against the encroach- bad taste in their mouths about
Heidi Lichtenstein,
ing stranger.
us. It's too bad for them because
owner of Cinderella's
Jerry Filler
When a writer at we would've been great for the
Attic, a vintage cloth- of Einstein Bros. Bagels
in Grosse Pointe
the Metro Times sug- community. We would've been
ing-jewelry boutique,
gested in a column more than just a bagel shop," he
learned last June that
the chain was eyeing the build- that readers boycott Boston Mar- says.
The Grosse Pointe store
ing, where she leases space, at ket to show their contempt for
the corner of Main and Fourth the Royal Oak plan, Ms. Licht- is "neighborhoodish," homey
streets. In the same building are enstein got a phone call. It was enough for customers to relax
Off The Record, a music store Gary Gerdemann, a spokesman with a newspaper during their
owned by Lee Rosenbloom; for Einstein Bros. He asked her lunch hours and on weekends, he
Decades, a collectibles store to "call off' the boycott, she says. says. That's the vision the 8-
Mr. Gerdemann confirms the month-old company promotes for
owned by Barry Shulman and
Bill Krout; a tailor shop and pro- conversation, but denies that all its stores, of which there are
Einstein made any kind of firm now 100 and counting. Einstein
fessional offices.
It also happens that Breug- offer to buy or rent the building. just gobbled up part of a Califor-
ger's Bagels, which has lately en- He says the real reason the com- nia-based chain called Noah's
tered the metropolitan market pany decided to go elsewhere Bagels, which added 37 more
with a vengeance, is readying a was the unsuitability of the fa- stores to its stable.
"We try to get involved in the
space up the street for its 10th lo- cility. It would have required too
much work to bring up to code, KOSHER BAGELS page 38
cation in the metro area.

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