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Bart’s Bagels opens in West Philly with lox, cream cheese, corned beef, hot salami — the whole schmear

Bala Cynwyd brothers' Jewish soul-food dream is coming to life in a Lancaster Avenue storefront.

Smoked fish and lox on a sesame bagel from Bart's Bagels.
Smoked fish and lox on a sesame bagel from Bart's Bagels.Read moreCOURTESY BART'S BAGELS

You’ve probably heard the story before:

Philadelphians feel that they must travel a hundred miles to New York to score the tastiest bagels and deli. That was the plight of Bala Cynwyd-bred Brett and Kyle Frankel, who grew up regularly tagging along with their uncle to H&H Bagels and Zabar’s on the Upper West Side.

The brothers are putting their money where their mouths are. They’re doing it themselves, much closer to home, in a storefront at 3945 Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia.

Bart’s Bagels opens its retail shop Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Brett Frankel, now 28, worked as a business analyst for a software company while teaching himself bagel-making. That led to visits to Rosenberg’s Bagels in Denver, David’s Bagels in Northern New Jersey, and New York Bagel in Detroit, where he performed grunt work in exchange for knowledge.

Emboldened, he approached the crew from Zahav, Abe Fisher, and Rooster and offered to host a bagel brunch in 2018, using Zahav’s tabun oven. After that, he decided to go pro.

Bart’s Bagels — “Bart” is Brett’s nickname — started a wholesale operation last month, selling to Di Bruno Bros, Middle Child, OCF Coffee Houses, Schmear It, Green Line Cafe, Elixr Coffee, White Dog Cafe, One Shot Cafe, Bad Brother, and Mammoth Coffee.

Brett and Kyle Frankel, 35, who is in ad sales, are billing the new shop as “a traditional bagel bake house, smoked fish joint, and neighborhood coffee shop” with counter service and some seating.

Their oven yields a baker’s dozen of bagel varieties including pumpernickel everything.

Chef Ron Silverberg (The Silverspoon, Hawthornes,, Ela) is running the kitchen, turning out a menu that hits the highlights of traditional bagel shops and delis: smoked fish sandwiches, breakfast egg sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches including house-roasted corned beef, turkey, and sausage. There’s coffee, too.

The smoked fish is sourced from Samaki, out of the Hudson Valley.

Initial hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.