Bagelz Out, Foodies In
After more than two years in business, Bagelz of Wickford will close and make way for an expanded version of Foodies of Wickford.
The New Year will bring resolutions for many, but for one Wickford establishment, it'll mean a big change.
After more than two years of serving coffee and fresh bagels to Wickfordites, Bagelz of Wickford will close its doors on Dec. 31. For owner Troy Reininger, the financial hardships of the past few years proved too large to overcome.
"With such a low price point, you have to have a higher volume of customers," said Reininger. "We just weren't getting that volume."
Bagelz of Wickford opened July 28, 2008 but was inevitably impacted by the recession, which hit only two months later. With less than two weeks left, Reininger promises customers the same level of service until the bitter end.
"We want to give 100 percent until the end because that's what we've always done," said Reininger. "We'll continue having the full menu and be open the same hours."
Coffee and bagel lovers need not despair over Bagelz's departure, however, as the building will reopen on Jan. 2 as an expanded version of Foodies of Wickford Village.
"I'm disappointed that we're closing but I'm glad that something going to be in here and it won't be empty," said Steve Studley, a two-year employee of Bagelz.
According to Foodies owners Craig Schennum and James Zajas, the new incarnation of the historic building on West Main Street will look familiar to locals. The duo looks to bring in the gourmet cheeses and other items they sell at Foodies, currently located directly behind Bagelz, in addition to the bagels and coffee already sold at Bagelz.
"Basically we're going to have Wickford Gourmet all over again," said Schennum. Wickford Gourmet, a former staple of Wickford Village, closed its doors in early 2008 after serving the community for 26 years.
Described by Schennum as "French country bistro," Foodies will continue to sell Bagelz's bagels but will switch over to Ocean Coffee Roasters for coffee — a premium coffee brand sold at the Tennis Hall of Fame and Viking Hotel in Newport.
Schennum and Zajas, the landlords of both buildings, plan to move Foodies into the Bagelz building and dedicate the back building to their other business, Consignment Goods of Wickford Village. Though the lower level of the Foodies building will primarily be devoted to retail, Schennum and Zajas promise the second floor will serve as dining and sitting areas for patrons. Furniture from the consignment store will outfit the building to keep with the Wickford Village aesthetic.
Schennum is also looking to keep much of the Bagelz staff and equipment from the building.
"Most of these kids have been here since we opened," Reininger said. "They're just really good kids. I'm going to miss them."