Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Bagel Restaurant and Deli of Chicago & Skokie, Illinois.

After surviving the Holocaust, Elsa and Herman Golenzer, who had owned a restaurant in Hamburg, Germany, along with their children Michael and Ruth, brought their family recipes and authentic Old World cooking to Chicago's North Side.
A favorite menu item is Lox, chive cream cheese, onion, and tomato on a bagel.
The original 34-seat location at 4806 North Kedzie Avenue was formerly occupied by a baker called "The Bagel Bakery." The family was unable to afford a new sign so they decided to go with the name "The Bagel Restaurant" and kept the sign in place.

Ruth's sons Danny and the late Michael took over in 1969.
4806 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, location.
4806 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, location.
In 1977, demand for The Bagel's offerings outstripped the capabilities of its original location's seating capacity so the deli moved to its second location at 3000 West Devon Avenue in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of the West Ridge community, where it remained for 15 years.
3000 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, location.
Two weeks after closing the Devon location, The Bagel opened up in Lakeview at 3107 North Broadway Avenue in December 1992.
3107 North Broadway, Chicago, Illinois, location.
The Bagel opened at 4905 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie in 1987.
Old Orchard Shopping Center location in Skokie, Illinois.
Deli Counter at the Old Orchard Shopping Center location in Skokie, Illinois.
Since the closure of the Lord & Taylor store next door, the owners of Old Orchard have been planning to reconfigure the area. The Bagel's Skokie locations lease had already expired and had been operating month to month. They tried to stay open as long as they could because their customers were like family. 

The Bagel Deli and Restaurant closed the Skokie location on November 29, 2018.
Corned Beef Sandwiches Piled High!
In hundreds of replies from disappointed customers, longtime patrons bemoaned the loss of favorite menu items like kreplach and matzah ball soup and questioned the reasons for the restaurant's closure. Some suggested Old Orchard had decided not to renew the lease. Others suggested Skokie's tax rates were a contributing factor. 

The truth is that Westfield Old Orchard raised the rent too high, so the Bagel bolted. 

The Bagel Restaurant & Deli at 
3107 North Broadway, in the Lakeview community, is still open (as of  February 14, 2021). 

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. 


  1. The old orchard shopping center was sold to a Chinese investment group. The lease renewal was set too high for the bagel so they bailed.

  2. I wish I had something like this near me. (LaSalle County, AKA Mayberry)

  3. So sad that old orchard location was closed always got soup to chase away colds and the blues

  4. I grew up on the 4800 block of Troy, and I tell ya, we could smell them when they were baking, (along with so many other fabulous foods in that area) like getting a waft of heaven!

  5. Sadly, I only made it to the Old Orchard location once. It was FANTASTIC! My son and I ordered a variety of dishes and feasted heartily. I bought some tasty items to bring home also.
    I sure wish they'd open another location in "the burbs" again. (Ben Martin on Neil's Facebook group)

  6. Went to the location on Kedzie just ONCE (summer of '77)...it remeinded me so much of Ashkenaz on Morse, in my grandmother's old neighborhood. Ate at the Devon location many times over the next fifteen years...and then in the Old Orchard one as well. I was bummed when I found out they'd been booted out of Skokie. Not too many real delis left. Funnily enough, I've never been to the one on Broadway. Maybe I should try it. I need a bowl of mish-mosh soup and some latkes.Or a chopped-liver fix.

    1. The Ashkenaz Deli was on Morse Avenue in Chicago, and was the go-to for real Jewish foods; corned beef, chopped liver, gefilte fish and so many other great dishes. Started by Sam Ashkenaz's parents, George and Ada, who immigrated from Russia early in the 1900s. My story places you in the restaurant, sitting at a table.

      MY ARTICLE: https://drloihjournal.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-history-of-ashkenaz-restaurants-and.html


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