Barry Bagels is a Toledo area classic, and now families can enjoy the local chain’s most popular menu items in a new “express” location adjacent to Imagination Station in downtown Toledo.
Founded by the late Barry Greenblatt, Barry Bagels is a regional favorite serving tasty deli-style sandwiches, soups, salads, and — of course — bagels. The family-owned business celebrated 50 years in business in November, and we visited its newest franchise location for an early lunch on a recent Saturday.
New location, same favorites
Barry Bagels had a presence downtown for several years in The Junction building at the corner of Summit and Jefferson, but in Spring 2021 the store moved to Imagination Station as part of the science center’s $11 million renovation that included construction of the KeyBank Discovery Theater.
With a public entrance off Summit Street, the new location offers better visibility for the downtown Barry Bagels, according to Tim Melroy, regional manager for the branch of Sodexo Catering Services that oversees food services for Imagination Station.
The “express” designation simply means the restaurant offers a scaled down version of the menu found at the bigger corporate locations, and they do not offer catering. All food is still made fresh on site, according to Melroy, including the bagels. “Even though we have a smaller, condensed menu, most of the popular items are available,” he noted.
A bagel with a view
The new Barry Bagels location is bright and modern, with high ceilings and countertop seating along two huge walls of windows that provide nice views of the river and downtown Toledo. My kids loved sitting on the tall stools to look out through the front windows where Summit intersects with Adams Street while they ate lunch. For those with younger children who might provide concerns about toppling off the high stools, the center of the restaurant also offers standard height tables and chairs.
Barry Bagels is a fast casual restaurant, where guests order at the counter before seating themselves. The employees were friendly, repeating our order back to us for accuracy several times.
The menu features a variety of deli sandwiches, extras such as potato salad and mac and cheese, breakfast sandwiches known as “eggels” and bagels with cream cheese. Most deli sandwiches cost around $8, with an option to “junior size” your selection (subtract $1.25). While the regular menu already offers plenty of crowd pleasers, there is also a kids menu with five choices, each of which comes with a juice box and chips ($5.45-$6.45). For the littlest eaters, a bagel with butter ($2.10) also is a safe choice that won’t break the bank. Soups are available Monday through Friday, but not on Saturdays due to reduced operating hours.
My oldest son ordered the pizza bagel, a classic I fondly remember from frequent visits to the old Westgate location of the bagel deli as a child. A thick layer of melted mozzarella covered the tomato sauce and pepperoni, and he declared that it tasted just like pizza.
My daughter had high praise for her lunch of chicken tenders and Miss Vickie’s jalapeño kettle-cooked potato chips, which she said weren’t overly spicy.
My other son ordered the bagel dog, which is served nestled inside a custom-shaped bagel. If you have a picky eater, be advised that the bagel “bun” comes topped with a generous portion of poppy seeds. My son also said the hot dog was a bit chewy, so he might like to try something different next time.
The BLT I ordered on a honey wheat bagel featured crisp, fresh bacon piled high, and was delicious and filling. My husband opted for the roasted turkey on a plain bagel, topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and pickle. As a person who is suspicious of any menu boasting saucy sandwiches, he appreciated that he was able to customize his selection with his choice of toppings (hold the mayo).
Beverage options include soft drinks and fresh Caribou Coffee, and an assortment of cookies, cakes and yogurt parfaits are also available to accompany your meal.
We were in and out of Barry Bagels in less than 30 minutes, and our bill for a family of five came to $42 for lunch. While we didn’t visit the science museum that day, it’s great to know there is a fresh, fast and affordable dining option available there, even if you just need a quick bagel snack for an exhausted kid and a coffee for a tired parent after a visit highlighting play and discovery.
Barry Bagels Express
1 Discovery Way
The Short Course:
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