While you might think East Quogue's newest business that merges a bagel shop with wine bar has an identity crisis, the owners said its actually a perfect pairing.
On April 2, Jim Ferrentino, along with his wife and brother-in-law, opened the Beach Side Bagel Cafe, formerly the Bagel Palace. The new business not only specializes in wraps, bagels and anything else you'd normally find in a deli, but also wine and cheese.
Here's the catch, once the weekend afternoon deli rush comes to a close, Ferrentino and his staff, transform the business into a wine and cheese bar — the tables are covered in linen cloths, the lights go dim and the bagel counter is masked with desserts.
"It it changed into a different store," said Ferrentino. "It becomes more romantic, quiet and intimate."
In the eventing, Ferrentino said he serves up 23-types of wines, some local others from California, as well as 12 types of beer, also some local from Southampton and Blue Point. Glasses range from $7 a glass to $14.
And while customers enjoy a class of wine, they can try a variety of 18 cheeses laid out on a cheese board.
Desserts are also available from Italian pastries, to cheesecake, and pie.
Ferrentio, who lives in Flanders, said he hopes that his business cultivates into a community gathering place where everyone knows everyone and tables are pushed together when neighbors meet, like a Seinfeld episode, he said.
"I want it to be a warm and friendly environment," he said, pointing to his youth, growing up in the 70s, spending time in New York City, where locals would gather at wine bars. "I didn't want to be a restaurant and compete with restaurants. I wanted to be unique to the puzzle."
But, not only is his concept one to create a gathering place, but also to make money. In this economy, Ferrentino, whose background is in computers, owning a computer business for 30 years, felt he needed to do something a little different.
"Bagel stores are only open a certain number of hours, but by transforming it at night, I can stay open longer. It also makes perfect sense, especially when the summer crowds arrive," he said.
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