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Promising Bagel Pop-Up Goes Permanent at Original Noah’s Location in Rockridge

Boichik Bagels could arrive by the end of the year

Boichik Bagels/Facbeook

For the last five years, Emily Winston, a mechanical engineer from New Jersey and partisan of H&H Bagels in Manhattan, has been toiling away in the East Bay on a faithful recreation of her own personal “holy bagel.” By the end of the year, she hopes to share the fruit of her labor with Rockridge customers, opening Boichik Bagels at 3170 College Avenue in the original home of another East Bay bagel business: Noah’s New York Bagels. In fact, it was Noah’s founder, Noah Alper who connected Winston to the space as it was closing, J Weekly reports.

The closure of her holy bagel’s high temple, the historic Upper West Side H&H location, spurred Winston’s bagel journey in the first place. “I can’t allow this not to exist,” she remembers thinking. Winston lacked formal baking experience, but as an engineer who’s “good at figuring things out,” she got down to business with the goal of her own “malty, sweet” bagel with a “leathery” crust

In September, after “it started to get really good,” Winston sold her bagels for the the first time at Oakland’s Eat Real Festival. Her bagels — sesame, poppy, salt, and everything bagels made from unbleached high-protein wheat flour — were a hit.

For that pop-up and others since, Winston adopted the moniker Boichik Bagels, a term of endearment for a young Jewish boy that references an interaction she had with her grandmother after “having recently ‘gone butch.’”

”’Oy, such a boychik!’” Winston recalls her grandmother teasing, “Tell me, will you be having your Bar Mitzvah soon?”

Winston will be busy remodeling the old Noah’s space over the coming months, creating an open kitchen so customers can see how the bagels are made. There won’t be much in terms of seating — as at the original H&H location, she points out.

“It’s authentically New York, that way,” she says. “At H&H, there was no seats, and they wouldn’t even make you a sandwich.” Winston, for that matter, is happy to do bagel sandwiches at Boichik.

Bagels are a tricky business, and not just to make, Winston acknowledges. Everyone has their own platonic bagel ideal, and here in the Bay Area, where few options can scratch that particular itch, the pressure on up-and-coming bagel makers is high.

“That’s the danger in doing something so laden in nostalgia,” Winston says. Her plan: Just try to please herself. If she can do that, she might just make a lot of others happy in the process.