A new bagel shop with deep roots in New York is coming to Dallas: Called Sclafani's New York Bagels and Bread, it'll be a bakery-cafe-and-coffee-shop opening in Preston Center at 6135 Luther Ln., in the space most recently home to Gather Kitchen.
Founder Chris Sclafani is currently renovating the space and is aiming for a January 2022 opening.
Sclafani will serve New York-style bagels, Italian bread, sandwiches, and coffee, featuring recipes that go back decades. His family has owned bakeries in New York's Little Italy, and Sclafani previously opened a similar concept in Virginia (which is still open but under different ownership).
"My family has been doing this for 100 years, since they came over from Italy and settled in New York," he says. "They're bakers by birth and by trade. They began baking Italian bread and bread products in Little Italy. The bagels began after my parents got divorced and my father married into a Jewish family — merging bagels and Italian bread, and moving away from wholesale to a retail shop."
Sclafani moved to Virginia to attend seminary school and in 2016, opened the first Sclafani's, which earned raves for its bagels, some in trendy flavors, boasting a crisp crust and chewy inside.
He moved to Dallas to be closer to his kids, who live and attend school/work in the area.
Sclafani is gung ho about his location in Preston Center which, due to no fault of its own, has seen a few concepts cycle in and out including The Hospitality Sweet, Peak Wood Fired Grill, and for a number of years before that, Cafe Expresso.
Never you mind, it's bagels for the win.
"It's going to be my flagship location," Sclafani says. "You'll walk into the shop, and we'll be every bit as good as shops in New York and New Jersey. We'll do the process of boiling and baking, and the water will be filtered to mimic the water we have back home."
They'll also make Italian bread, and the location came with a full kitchen, so he'll make items like meatballs and sausage which will make for great sandwiches.
Last but not least, the shop will have a unique, high-end copper espresso machine for cappuccinos and other espresso drinks.
Sclafani is into creating beautiful spaces, using old-world and reclaimed materials like brick and like the 1912 cash register he once used in a prior space — to approximate a bakery you might find in Little Italy, where it all began.