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'Once Upon a Bagel' in Winnetka Holds Grand Opening

The Winnetka location is the 5th on the North Shore for the family-owned business.

Once Upon a Bagel has officially opened the doors of its Winnetka location, holding a grand opening last Thursday. The business had a soft opening late December, opening its doors for the public shortly before the holiday season.

The Winnetka space is the 5th location for the family-run chain — which includes another Once Upon a Bagel location in Highland Park, Once Upon a Grill and Once Upon a Deli in Northbrook and the Mean Wiener in Highwood.

Gerry and Steve Geffen, the father-and-son team who own the North Shore chain, chose to open a location in Winnetka because of supportiveness of the community.

“It’s a close-knit community,” Steve Geffen said. “Everyone wants everyone else do to do well. … We felt the most comfortable in this location. Some customers even come in two times a day, because of the family feeling we have here. ”

Once Upon a Bagel features a full menu, including omelets, blintzes, sandwiches, soups and 15 types of bagels, ranging from chocolate chip to pumpernickel. The bagels, as well as many of the other foods served at the restaurant, are made fresh every morning, most in the Highland Park location. The Geffens, however, are currently working on building a location in Highwood where the products will be made each morning.

Although they work together every day maintaining their five restaurants, Geffen says that he and his dad still love working together.

“If we weren’t working together [owning these restaurants], we’d find a [different] way to work together,” Geffen said.

He added that the next generation — Gerry’s grandchildren — is already excited to start working at the family’s five locations.

“The kids love it,” Steve Geffen said. “They’re begging to start working here!” 

Once Upon a Bagel is located at 1050 Gage St. in downtown Winnetka. 

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