A tipster sent in the news that David's Bagels on 1st Avenue and 14th Street will be closing at the end of August after 21 years of business. I spoke with the owner, Vilai Wangkeo, and she told me that since the landlord opened a Hot & Crusty franchise next door, "He doesn't want the competition," so her lease will not be renewed.
"When you work somewhere for 21 years," she said, "you get good customers, and when you have to move, it's really sad. This is like my second home. I've been here every day, 6 days a week, for 21 years."
When Ms. Wangkeo's children grew up and she needed work to do, she opened David's Bagels in 1987. I asked why a former nurse and a native of Thailand would decide to open a bagel shop. "We have no bagels in Thailand," she chuckled, "but my brother had a side job at Bagel Nosh and he learned how to make them there."
"Is your brother named David?" I asked.
"Nobody is David," she laughed, "But a lot of Jewish people have that name." So David just made sense for a bagel shop.
Ms. Wangkeo has a second bagel shop further uptown and she is searching for a new location for this one, but it's hard to find a spot for a small business in Manhattan. "Nothing is empty," she said, "nothing for less than $15,000 a month."
That's a lot of bagels.