SEATTLE — Some of Seattle’s most popular bagels now have a place to call home.
Rubinstein Bagels opened a brick-and-mortar spot across from the Amazon Spheres, after building a massive following as a bagel delivery business.
"When I see people eat them, sometimes I have a moment of anxiety and I'm like 'Please love that bagel, please love that bagel,'" said founder and owner Andrew Rubinstein. "And then they do, I hope! I always have to end with hope."
He first perfected his recipe at home, using personal experiences.
"It's New York-inspired because I have memories of New York bagels. I also have memories of the bagels when I grew up in Milwaukee, so there's also this homey nostalgic thing that comes back to me,” he said. "I wanted to make a bagel that had a little bit of a slight tang to it, so I use a sourdough starter for it. (And) that has a crust on it, that can crackle when you toast it."
He also uses organic flour, mostly sourced from Washington State.
His commercial baking began at Ethan Stowell’s restaurant Cortina, where he used the kitchen overnight. The bagels were first served in Cortina Café. When COVID hit, Rubinstein pivoted to a delivery-only model.
"Our biggest day out of there was about 700 bagels, and that was just me baking and boiling them at the time. We were selling out weeks in advance, even if I was making 500 bagels each day,” he said. "It was wonderful but stressful because I had to call people and be like, 'I'm really sorry but can you do it the next day?'"
Opening his own brick-and-mortar location was a dream realized.
"The location is a beautiful location, I love my kitchen, my bakers,” he said. "This is kind of a crazy time to open a restaurant, but we've been doing well. We're making anywhere from 1,200 to 1,700 bagels a day. This is my first restaurant I've ever been a part of, I've always dreamt of it, so I feel really lucky that I could do this."