The appropriately named Ringo Roseman is behind The Bagel Place, a cafe at Fourth and Queen Streets in Queen Village.
Roseman, 36, who grew up in the D.C. suburbs and moved to Philly about 15 years ago, was working in various front-of-the-house and management jobs when he realized that Philly's bagel business was poised for growth. "I have this romantic notion of bagels," he said. "And everybody loves sandwiches." Further, he said, he loves the way the city's neighborhoods have grown in a way that supports small businesses.
When he was canvassing neighbors for a zoning variance, he said, he received plenty of blank stares. When he let on his business idea, he said they replied, "Oooh! A bagel shop."
At 404 Queen St. – the heart of Fabric Row – he's working in a new building offering big windows, lots of light, and a comfy, industrial-ish look with seating for about 30 people.
Order at the counter, where he and baker Leo Rahill make 21 different types of classic water/honey-bath bagels, 16 spreads, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, other baked goods (bialys, cookies and muffins, rugelach, babka), La Colombe drip and iced coffee, and smoked fish (salmon, sable, and sturgeon) by the quarter-pound.
The sandwich menu hits the classics but allows room for fun. For instance, there's a Reuben, but also a vegetarian one made with smoked beets with a house-made garlic dill sauerkraut.
Prices are reasonable – $1.50 a bagel, $15 a baker's dozen.
Roseman said he also wants The Bagel Place to be a community hub, as he sells art from local artists and donate to local charities. "I think there are lot of great ways to do make people happy with great food, and to have a good time doing it as well," he said.
Hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.