Detroit Institute of Bagels is closed; building, business up for sale

After seven years boiling and baking bagels and pouring coffee, the owner of a Corktown bagel shop has decided to close and sell the business.
Ben Newman of Detroit Institute of Bagels confirmed the closure in a Metro Times report, saying he wanted to spend more time with family. The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in his decision.
In an email to the Free Press, Newman said the pandemic halted plans for an expansion between his establishment and nearby PJ’s Lager House. Plans had been in the works for two years, and Newman said in mid-March that he had received permits for the expansion. That was before Michigan restaurants were ordered closed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


“This was going to be a new and exciting challenge that helped realize the long-term vision for the business of using bagels to invest in our people, community and future,” Newman said.
Detroit Institute of Bagels reopened in May and June for takeout, but Newman said it seemed “kind of insane to take out a $1-million loan to build more capacity and seating.”
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“Without the positive reinforcement of seeing people gather and converse over bagels, my passion to make bagels to realize a greater vision has waned,” he said.
The 3,400-square-foot building at 1236 Michigan Ave. near the Lodge Freeway is listed at $1.5 million by O’Connor Real Estate. The business and equipment are excluded from the sale, according to the listing.
Newman is asking $600,000 for the business, the name and all the equipment, according to O’Connor Real Estate.
Newman said he had already received offers on the business and the building. He’s confident that it will remain a place to get bagels.
The bagels at his establishment were boiled and baked and known for their perfect size. Like New York-style bagels, they were crusty on the outside with a chewy inside texture.


What made them unique was a three-day fermentation process that gave them a more robust flavor, Newman said.
Detroit Institute of Bagels once
drew accolades from culinary and lifestyle celebrity Martha Stewart. In 2017, she told the Free Press she enjoyed the business along with others in Corktown.
Contact food writer Susan Selasky: 313-222-6872 or sselasky@freepress.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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