Beagle Bagel Café is scheduled to open at the beginning of August at 1801 West Jackson Avenue, serving fresh bagels, salads, baked goods, coffee and more for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Co-owners and brothers Ben and Will Ulmer are anxiously anticipating the Oxford debut.
The Ulmer family currently runs two other Beagle Bagel outposts in Jackson and Madison, Mississippi, but they’ve had their eye on Oxford for a while.
“My wife and I just moved to Oxford last week in preparation for the opening and we’re excited to meet everyone,” said Ben. “We’ve wanted to open a store in Oxford for eight or 10 years now.”
Beagle Bagel Cafe originally began with just bagels, a few deli items and some pies, according to Ben, and has slowly evolved to include homemade baked goods, fresh-ground coffee and more, in an effort to offer something for everyone.
“My dad started Beagle Bagel Café back in 1995 when he was a shoe salesman in Jackson,” said Ben. “He’s still in the shoe business; the family has always been in retail or in some way working with people.”
In addition to being famous for its chicken salad, according to Will and Ben, Oxford’s Beagle Bagel Café will offer 18 different bagels to choose from with 12 kinds of cream cheese; lox; deli meats; cheeses; tuna salad; spicy chicken salad; pasta salads; marinated vegetables; fruit salads; soups; pizza bagels; cookies; cakes; chess squares; lemon bars and more.
Will added that the café will have delicious breakfast items and bottomless coffee as well. “We open at 6:30 a.m. and have great breakfast plates and egg sandwiches,” he said. “I also recommend our tuna salad for lunch or dinner—it’s kind of our best-kept secret because 65 percent of our customers order the chicken salad and don’t realize how good the tuna salad is.”
A Place to Connect
Will and Ben know how important it is to stay connected, which is why they’ve installed a high-top station at the café, which is outfitted with iPads that connect guests to local news, sports and activities.
Ben said, “We’ll have free Wi-Fi throughout the restaurant, but for those who just want to check out what’s happening on HottyToddy.com, Scout.com or play a kid’s game, they can use one of the iPads at the high-top station.”
A Learning Curve
The South loves its biscuits, so switching to a morning bagel isn’t the easiest transition, according to Will. “Bagels are usually a northern deal, while down here, it’s biscuits and gravy, which is fine; I like biscuits and gravy,” Will said. “But to me, in the morning, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a bagel with butter on it.”
“Sometimes we’ll see people start by ordering bread on their sandwiches because we also have Paninis,” said Ben. “Then we slowly see them transition to ordering bagels. It’s fun to see them make the switch.”
“Above all, we just want to create a fun atmosphere that’s family friendly and accommodating to everyone at Beagle Bagel Cafe,” said Ben.
Beagle Bagel Café is located at 1801 West Jackson Avenue and will be open Monday to Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The cafe offers catering for parties, office meetings and game days in The Grove. To find out more, visit TheBeagleBagelCafe.com or call 662-380-5094.
Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for HottyToddy.com, an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.