Those sourdough bagels you either love for their California sensibilities or hate because you’re ride-or-die New York style are getting a new home. At the end of January, Eater SF reported that Tea 4 You at 646 Irving Street in the Inner Sunset called it quits; now, just over a week later, Midnite Bagel founder Nick Beitcher tells Eater SF he and his fellow bagel makers have signed the next lease. They’re set to open in the next three months. “It’s going to be a small, no-frills bagel shop,” Beitcher says.
Beitcher plans to continue baking at the shop’s commissary kitchen in the American Industrial Center at 23rd and 3rd streets, where he’s held a lease for about three months. A few times a day they’ll drive fresh bagels from their production facility to the Inner Sunset location, so the new shop will be a cafe and retail operation. Beitcher linked up with Andrew Barnett, owner and founder of Linea Coffee, for advice on the low-key shop’s coffee program. While the space is already built out for sales and a small kitchen, Beitcher hopes to bring a cosmetic redesign to the counters and dining area.
“We’ll be doing the same menu, our different flavors of cream cheeses, our smoked salmon,” Beitcher says. “The seasonal veggie sandwich right now is roasted beets with horseradish cream cheese.” He’s looking forward to the light fare Midnite will be able to do in-house, too — think, breakfast sandwiches. Beitcher spent his childhood in New Rochelle, New York, before a stint in Los Angeles, which is where he ate his first breakfast bagel sandwiches of egg, cream cheese, and jelly. Expect that one, and other offerings like a smoked sandwich with Monterey black cod, on Midnite’s menu. “I like some of the weird ones, but they’re really good,” Beitcher says.
Midnite Bagel has been keeping its legions of fans fed since 2019, when it was just a humble nighttime popup. Beitcher was the head baker at the Tartine Bakery on Guerrero Street from 2014 to 2019, and has been investing in his sourdough skills for a longtime. He’s considered a key member of the bagel community in the Bay and has lived in the Outer Sunset for years. “The Sunset is kind of my neighborhood now,” Beitcher said. With this latest development, the Bicoastal Bagel Wars — which have historical precedence but were fanned to an inferno in 2020 — rage on. For years now, Bay Area bakers like Boichik Bagel in Berkeley, Daily Driver, Chicken Dog Bagels, and the Bagel Mill in Petaluma have been innovating and inspiring bakers and eaters throughout the country.