AIRMONT, N.Y. - Since opening the first bagel shop to bear his name in Park Ridge in 1998, John Abdel has slowly made his way north from Bergen County into Rockland.
Just three months ago Abdel opened his sixth John’s Famous Bagels, Deli & Cafe, this time in Airmont; the other five locations include Park Ridge, Montvale, Woodcliff Lake in New Jersey, Garnerville, and then New City, which is the shop Abdel finds himself in the most.
He admits his New City shop on South Little Tor Road might be his favorite.
“But I have a strong feeling that my second favorite will be Airmont,” he said, due to the volume of traffic at the intersection of Route 59 and Airmont Road, and the clientele.
The location is something of a bagel spot; Abdel has inherited the former storefront of Bagel Boys, which moved around the corner on Airmont Road, and Bagel Train Gourmet.
Across all of his locations Abdel counts the gourmet sandwiches and wraps as some of the most popular items, and he also sells a ton of egg sandwiches.
And then there are the bagels, made from a hand-rolled, cold-water, “old-school” recipe.
“We're not cutting corners,” he said.
The John's Famous brand has traveled well: when opening a new location, Abdel said it’s as if it has been open for a couple years rather than a couple months. And he’s found success with multiple locations by partnering up with his employees when opening a new spot.
“For me, to maintain the quality service, quality of food, you have to have the owner there,” he said. With the help of partner Mo Hashem in Airmont, Abdel sees no reason why his newest location won’t thrive like his others.
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