When Jess and Ryan Kurban first inspected the empty Bridge Road, Richmond, shopfront that now houses their cafe, Bissel B Bagels, they knew they could transform it into something special.
Covid forced the brother and sister team into a slight change of plans, but if you look through the takeaway window – past cabinets showcasing stacked bagels, colourful donuts, jars of house-made dill pickles and more – you get a glimpse into the light, bright, emerald-hued space they created.
The Kurbans have always loved New York, and inspired by their third visit there late last year, they opened Bissel B Bagels in May.
“Opening right at the beginning of the pandemic was nerve-racking, but we’ve had an amazing response so far, with many regulars coming in after their daily exercise or in between meetings and grabbing a bagel for the trip home. It’s reassured us that we’ve done the right thing,” says Ryan.
Most bagels are named after parts of New York. The Wall Street comes filled with a fried egg, bacon, hash brown, sausage patty and American cheese, while the Brooklyn is pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and horseradish mayo. The New Yorker channels a pizza slice, with mozzarella, napoli, salami and basil. Lighter is the Park Avenue, with poached chicken, avocado, Swiss cheese, mustard, tomato and baby spinach.
Elsternwick bakery Savion Cakes & Bagels supplies the bagels. “We steered away from the denser bagels, because we thought a soft, fluffier texture would pair with [the] ingredients,” says Ryan.
Choose from plain, sesame, poppyseed, onion, and the everything bagel (which gained popularity a few years ago in the US and comes topped with a mix of seasonings).
And it wouldn’t be a bagel cafe without the Lox & Schmear. The schmear is cream cheese with dill and capers, topped with house-cured salmon, sliced tomato, onion and pickles. Vegan cream cheese is available.
There are toasted bagels, too, including a take on a meatball sub, with creamy buffalo mozzarella and napoli sauce; one with mac’n’cheese and crispy bacon bits; and the Cheeseburger Bagel, with two beef patties, American cheese, pickles, red onion and burger sauce.
Doughnuts in flavours such as peanut butter and Nutella, lemon meringue, and cookies and cream are from That’s Alotta Doughnuts in Campbellfield.
And the name?
“Bissel is Yiddish for ‘a little bit’, and the B stands for bagel,” Jess says. “We decided on going with a Yiddish word to pay homage to the origin of the bagel and its Jewish heritage.”
Bissel B Bagels is currently open for takeaway and delivery to nearby suburbs only. Order online.
Bissel B Bagels
111 Bridge Road, Richmond
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm