When we first met Connie Leaf and heard her vision to bring authentic, New York style bagels to the Vail Valley, she was selling (and selling out of) her bagels from pop-up locations, and from the back door of the Mirabelle at Beaver Creek's kitchen, where patrons could pop by for a fresh bagel and homemade shmear (a combination Leaf coins "shmearing happiness") on their way to work.
Apparently, East Coast bagels translate just fine out west— so fine, in fact, that Village Bagel is making the leap to its own commercial space in Edwards (a storefront across US Highway 6 from Riverwalk formerly occupied by Freshies), outfitted with a dine-in area, and brand new equipment that includes a 25-gallon kettle straight from New York City. For patrons who choose to enjoy their breakfast (or lunch) in house, Village Bagel will be offering freshly squeezed juice, cold press coffee, kombucha, and a draft beer or two, mimosas and Bloody Marys for brunchers and a variety of house-made schmears and spreads made fresh daily. Leaf says having a space exclusively dedicated to boiling and baking Village Bagel's specialty will open the door to exploring the culinary niche, and allow for room to grow along the way. "Our goal is to still keep our prices fair while serving quality ingredients that works for every age group and demographic," she says. "But, we'll also have high ticket brunch items like your boiled-and-baked bagels served with accompaniments like towers of locally cured and smoked salmon and other fish options — latkes, traditional caviar service, etc — and Champagne for those New York visitors who want a Sunday feast like they’re back in SoHo." Leaf hopes to open the doors of her new venture by the end of September/early October so that Village Bagel can continue shmearing happiness, but from a more permanent locale with ambitions to become the toast of E- Town.
Can't wait 'til October? Catch Village Bagel on the menu at the following locations:
Try the original backdoor location, The Mirabelle at Beaver Creek, although Leaf suggests calling the night before to place your order, and plan a morning pickup time. 914-886-8851
Four Seasons Resorts and Residences, Vail Village; fourseasons.com
Yeti's Grind, Solaris, Vail Village; yetisgrind.com
Sticky Fingers Café & Bakery, Minturn; 970-827-5353
Mountain Cupcakes, Vail Village; mountaincupcakes.com
Loaded Joe's, Avon & Vail Village; loadedjoes.com
Color Coffee Roasters, Eagle; colorroasters.com
And every Sunday at the Vail Farmers' Market & Art Show, where Leaf shares a booth with UpRooted Events, a craft food and catering startup by Root & Flower's founder Sam Biszantz and chef Matt Limbaugh.