Nancy’s Bagel Grounds is moving and expanding after 21 years on Frankfort Avenue.
The bagel shop and cafe is a landmark local business that bakes Northeast-style bagels (spinach feta, tomato herb, onion, garlic and pumpernickel, to name a few) fresh a couple of times a day.
Its lease is up at the end of January, and the property owner — who also owns The Manhattan Project bourbon and sports bar in the rear of the building — wants to expand into the front, said Anne Fuller, who runs Nancy’s Bagel Grounds with Nancy Haner Grantz.
Owner Erick Strnatka said he and his partners are not 100 percent sure what their plans and will be figuring it out over the coming months.
Nancy’s Bagel Grounds isn’t moving far; it’s moving less than a mile away to 225 S. Spring St., the current home of Willingers Beer Depot.
“For having to move, it couldn’t have been a better situation,” Haner Grantz said.
Willingers Beer Depot posted on Facebook that its last day will be Sept. 30, saying they’d let the new property owners announce their plans. Commenters were disappointed by the news, and several noted that their dads and grandfathers used to be regulars at the family run bar decades ago.
Fuller bought the Spring Street property for $200,000, according to Jefferson County property records. More than that will go into the renovation of the building and an addition to house a new bakery kitchen, Fuller said.
The building will undergo an “extensive renovation,” she said, but it will allow Nancy’s Bagels to add breakfast sandwiches and a new selection of specialty sandwiches such as the Bob Haner sandwich, a tomato herb bagel with jalapeno cream cheese, lox, tomato, onion and capers. The business also plans to expand its fresh salad menu and all-day bakery items.
“We can set it up right to do all that,” Fuller said.
The pair are considering expanding the hours as well as the number of staff, and a “secret cafe dinner” menu is in the works, Fuller offered as a teaser.
As part of the renovations, Haner Grantz said, they are working with an architect and contractor to transmit the same feeling that the current Frankfort Avenue store has to Spring Street. That includes incorporating woods into the interior design and picking the right paints and decor.
“I wanted people to feel like they were sitting down at the kitchen table,” Haner Grantz said.
She added that the atmosphere is all about the people, which is why they plan to keep those currently on staff. Since the lease won’t expire for more than four months, they are hopeful that Nancy’s Bagel Grounds will only close for a short period of time and reopen in mid-February.
Fuller and Haner Grantz said they looked at several potential sites, but the property at Spring and Payne streets was large enough for their plans and provides visibility and easy accessibility.
“It’s such a great corner,” Haner Grantz said.
Before the property purchase was finalized with indelible ink, they tested out the idea of a move by surveying customers.
“I think it was overwhelmingly positive,” Fuller said, noting that more than 85 percent of Nancy’s Bagel Grounds’ customers drive to it. “We had a lot of people actually say we are moving onto a more convenient route.”
The new site will include limited outdoor seating similar to the Frankfort Avenue site, as well as an expanded herb garden. Eventually, Fuller said, they’d like to have solar panels installed on the rooftop.
“The goal is to be as green as we can,” she said.