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Saturday
Oct312009

Chelsea cafe warmly welcomes the return of house-made bagels!

There's nothing that I look forward to more on weekend mornings than a gargantuan, hand-rolled NY-style "everything" bagel (not toasted, with a thick schmear of pimento olive cream cheese).  Empire City Bagels was the local shop that I would ritualistically pay homage to every Saturday and Sunday morning.

As I happened to walk by ECB on a random weekend this summer, I was horrified to find that my beloved bagel shop was closing for a remodel...until further notice.  I had also read that when the project was complete, the store would reopen as "The Corner Cafe," not "Empire City Bagels."  Needless to say, I was pretty devastated.

Finally, after months of walking by the "remodel zone," I saw a sign on the brown paper-bag-covered windows that said, "The Corner Cafe will be reopening on 10/24!" 

That was last weekend, and I've already been to The Corner Cafe three times!  The new space is lovely (black granite counter tops, blonde wood finishes, artistically tiled walls, state of the art appliances, etc.), as are its new owners.

And on that note, I wanted to share a story with you.  So here goes: On Thursday at work, I started feeling a bit "off."  My throat was getting mysteriously scratchy, but I chalked it off to eating a spicy lunch.  By the time I was having drinks/dinner on Thursday evening, I knew that something was not right.  I woke up on Friday morning feeling only 50%, but just like that good worker bee that I am, I headed straight in to the office...only strong enough to last until 1pm before having to turn around and head home.

This morning I woke up to refrigerator sans orange juice and a cupboard sans soup.  I placed a call over to The Corner Cafe, and the owner answered.  "Hi," I said raspily, "I'd like to place an order for delivery."  Her warm, motherly voice was so soothing, "Yes dear, please go ahead."  Between coughs, I ordered a flat "everything" bagel with pimento-olive cream cheese, a latte and a small orange juice.  "Do you need anything else?  You sound sick, you poor baby.  We have soup service starting at 10am.  Plus, we're right around the corner from you, so please just call us if you need anything else," she said.

Moments later, there was a knock on my door.  It was the friendly delivery man from The Corner Cafe.  After paying him, I pulled my items out of the bag, and found a sweet note telling me to "feel better," with an extra-large jug of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a black & white cookie, among my bagel and latte.  "Wow," I thought to myself, "This proves that there are decent people out there who truly care about their customers."



Not only does The Corner Cafe make a kick ass bagel (I haven't tried their other offerings just yet), but the folks who run this casual cafe are passionate about what they do and genuinely take an interest in their customer's lives, beyond the meal experience.  Thank you, Corner Cafe, for making me feel a little bit better as I suffer through this hideous cold. 

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