Capital Bagel Bakery Closing at Bradlee Shopping Center

Shopping center owners say shop owners "struggled to meet its obligations as a tenant."

The Capital Bagel Bakery will likely close its doors this week. Photo by Mary Ann Barton
The Capital Bagel Bakery will likely close its doors this week. Photo by Mary Ann Barton
Most weekend mornings, a line is practically out the door at the Capital Bagel Bakery in Alexandria's Bradlee Shopping Center — students in sweats and slippers and families with little ones all line up for bagels, coffee, OJ or maybe a chocolate milk. Some take a seat while others balance their to-go coffee and bag of bagels on top of a thick Sunday paper as they head out the door.

Customers of the longtime bagel bakery were shocked to learn that the place will likely close this week. The news is already causing something of a firestorm among customers debating the issue online, egged on a bit by the owners who — in a note taped to the door — asked customers to let Bradlee Shopping Center owners WRIT know how they feel.

An employee who answered the phone at the bagel shop, at 3610 King St., Sunday night said the last day for the bagel bakery will likely be this coming Thursday or Friday.

The note taped to the door and another copy taped to the window of the shop asks customers to visit their other location (it's in Burke, at 6030-H Burke Commons Road). Here's what the note says:

"We would like to express our gratitude for your patronage for the past couple of decades. We were given one month notice to vacate the space due to the landlord's consideration of Fresh Mart [The Fresh Market], since they're carrying bagels as well. As a result we will be moving to our sister location. We will be making the same quality of bagels and sandwiches there. All the promotional cards such as "free dozen" and gift cards will be honored there.

Please come see us sometime. We will miss you all and thank you so much. We truly appreciated having you at our store. Please feel free to ask our employees regarding our sister location. We have been trying to renew our lease. Please support us by signing on the petition so that we can demonstrate to the landlord what we mean to the community. We appreciate your support in advance. Management: W.R.I.T. (301) 984-9400. They are on Facebook."

Shopping center owners WRIT responded Sunday night on their Facebook page:
"As many posts on this Facebook page have noted, the closing of Bagel Bakery at Bradlee Shopping Center has been disappointing to some members of the community it serves. WRIT recognizes this fact and appreciates the feedback it has received.

Our desire as owner and manager of this center is to have an array of tenants in the property who can be successful and serve shoppers well. For some time, this particular store struggled to meet its obligations as a tenant. In response, WRIT made concerted efforts to be supportive and to provide Bagel Bakery with financial leeway. Unfortunately, despite the sincere and best efforts of all involved, this is no longer possible for us as the owner of the center. It is important to note that this is entirely unrelated to the recent opening of The Fresh Market or any other tenant.

WRIT remains committed to continue having high-quality stores in this center and to serving the surrounding community well."

News of the store's closing is just the latest in recent changes at the center, which has seen the closing of the flower shop and Chicken Out and the opening of Zoe's Kitchen, The Fresh Market and Massage Heights

Shiraz, a Mediterranean restaurant at the shopping center, has also recently closed.

How do you feel about the bagel bakery closing?
Debby Critchley February 24, 2014 at 07:55 AM
The WRIT explanation is not true. According to the owner, he has no problems with paying obligations and was attempting to renew his lease with one year remaining. WRIT is allegedly forcing his closure and others in the shopping center to enhance business for Fresh Market. I don't know about you but I respond to this kind of bullying very promptly with my wallet. I will never shop at any store in Bradlee again. AND, I will not shop on any other property owned by WRIT.
Jeff Yake February 24, 2014 at 10:02 AM
I have long loved Capital Bagel Bakery. Along with Alexandria Pastry Bakery, they are my reason for braving the Bradlee parking nightmare. Sounds like I'll now have one less reason to do so.
peterack February 24, 2014 at 11:14 AM
I usually discover that truth can be usually found in the midst of both sides. Thus, I have no doubt that someone who answers the phones at the Real Estate office probably gave a lame excuse to BB. On the other side, I have no doubt there is some hard ball being played by the Realtor. The very fact that the section directly next to BB is starting to show some pre-build activity suggests that a future tenant is planning to move in IF they can get the BB space. Like all realtor transactions, it boils down to $$$. No doubt Fresh Market has made the place a bit more attractive to more high end ventures.
Tia Tianna Norris March 01, 2014 at 08:00 AM
I just say stop shopping at Bradley. There is really nothing there anyway, and WRIT also owns Fox Chase, if you stop shopping at both maybe they will change.
Germaine March 02, 2014 at 06:58 AM
No sure how punishing a store like Robcyns because you don't like the business decisions of the landlord is right.


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