Capital Bagel Bakery on King Street is closing Friday, ending a 28-year run after the restaurant’s landlord, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) terminated the company’s lease.
It just happened that the Fresh Market, another tenant of WRIT, recently opened nearby and also sells bagels. After news broke about the bakery’s closing and patrons began complaining, the company attempted to stem the criticism by posting a statements on the Facebook page of the Bradlee Shopping Center, where the shop is located.
That didn’t go over so well with customers. The bagel shop’s owner and manager told the Post’s Patricia Sullivan that the business was current on its rent. Among the responses it received:
“Bagel Bakery is one of the most, and if not the most, busy stores in the center. There are no other good, quality places to eat there. This is an outrage and a loss to our community.”
“Since the Bagel Bakery is one of the busiest tenants, obviously having a sound business, perhaps Bradlee should rethink their demands to accommodate businesses, especially as several large spaces have remained vacant for some time.”
“Many of the members of the community are disappointed – not just “some.” You all should be better stewards of the community and figure out what to do with those other spaces before evicting busy businesses.”
Others took it differently:
“As for my family, we’re happy that Fresh Market is here and Zoe’s Market, they’re great additions. Alexandria Pastry shop is one of our favorites as well, for lunch, and of course, their incredible desserts. I’m sad for others that miss the Bagel shop but, we were never impressed. The coffee was bad and the food inconsistent. We concur that the parking lot is a joke. They should obliterate the side road and run the parking lot out.”
“You all are a bunch of conspiracy theory nuts. Welcome to capitalism. If they’re not paying their bills or if somebody else will pay more they’re gone. The bagels are not that good there anyway. If you don’t like it shop somewhere else.”
As of almost noon Thursday, 2,492 people had signed the following petition so that it can be delivered to Jessica Hayes, Asset Manager at WRIT:
Capital Bagel Bakery has been in the Alexandria, VA, community for almost 30 years. We are located in Bradlee Shopping Center, on King St. Originally, we were Chesapeake Bagel Bakery and became Capital Bagel about 15 years ago. During this time, we became favorite hang out place in the neighborhood. We have generations of families coming together to enjoy our food and service. We have 10 year lease, expiring 03/15, and we were about to renew the lease. Instead, we were given 30 day notice to vacate the location due to Landlord’s consideration for Fresh Mart, which just opened on 1/29/14. We still have more than a year left in the lease. With such a short notice, the owner and the employees of the store will become unemployed by the end of February and will have tremendous financial difficulties. All of us, like everyone else, have families to support, not to mention little newborns. We would like to have our lease renewed so that we can continue making living. Please support us by signing. We appreciate your support.
Whether one enjoyed Capital Bagel Bakery and its microwaved eggs or not, WRIT’s strategy comes as many landlords these days are searching for unique, local brands to distinguish their shopping centers, rather than pushing them out.
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz