At 6:30 am last Friday when owners, Pete and Janna Linde, unlocked the doors of their handsome new retail storefront for Meshuggah Bagels, a line had already started to form, and it did not stop until they closed their doors for the day at 2:00 pm.
By all measures, opening day was a great success for Meshuggah Bagels on 39th Street.
“Seriously, we unlocked our doors and there was a line outside of people waiting to get in,” says Janna Linde who was amazed by the outpouring of people who showed up opening day.
The line moved quickly on Friday. A friendly woman greeted you at the front door and took your order. Penning it in black Sharpie pen on a brown paper sack, she would slide the sack down the counter to the Linde’s who would start filling bags with bagels. The smell of freshly baked bagels and the visual of glass cases heaping with the familiar round yeast roll with a hole in it was enough to make most mouths water in anticipation. The wait, you could tell, would be worth it.
After ordering, the crowd fanned out across the small dining room. Everyone was looking for an empty corner to stand in, or if you were lucky enough, you might be able to snag a chair from someone whose name had just been called. There are no more that 20 seats inside of Meshuggah Bagels, but on opening day, most people were taking their bagels to go.
The large grey home that was converted into the retail space for Meshuggah Bagels below, and apartments above, has the look of a Boston Harbor storefront from the outside, with classic brass fixtures and black shutters. The front door is located on the side of the building, and there is parking in the back of the building, as well as a few spaces in front. Plan to park on the neighborhood streets surrounding the shop and walk for your bagels, especially on the weekends, when they are likely to be busy.
The inside of the bagel shop has been painted a warm gold with antique wood tables and black colonial style wood chairs continuing the theme. Baker’s racks hang on the walls filled with well-worn wooden spoons and spatulas and cutting boards. This carefully curated collection of traditional old world cooking implements, helps one understand the commitment to baking from scratch the couple does at their production facility in Pleasant Valley.
A framed chalkboard lists the small and simple menu for Meshuggah Bagels. The bagels offered on opening day were: plain, salt, poppy seed, sesame, “everything,” garlic or onion. Bagels are sold individually or you can order a half-dozen or a dozen to go.
They also offer a handful of schmears that you can get on a bagel to dress your dough up a bit. Plain, garlic & herb and salmon cream cheese, whitefish salad, smoked nova lox or fresh lox and a schmear, ranging from $3 for a bagel with cream cheese to $7.50 for a bagel with lox and a schmear.
To drink with your bagel, you can order a cup of the Meshuggah Midtown Medium Roast or Meshuggah 3rd Rail Dark Roast from Maps Coffee Roasters in Lenexa. You can also buy a bag of their blend to take home with you for $12.50.
Other beverage offerings include Naked Juices, Tropicana Orange and Cranberry juices and Shatto plain or chocolate milk, sodas or bottled water.
There were plenty of bagels prepared for opening day, but know that favorites like the “everything” bagel tended to sell out faster than the rest. However, everyone waiting for bagels last Friday were fine with switching up their order just to get bagels in their bag. Soon enough, a truck pulled up from their production bakery and within 15 minutes the counter was restocked with freshly baked bagels and they were off to the races.
There was a natural rhythm that soon developed behind the bagel counter at Meshuggah Bagels, as names were called and orders fulfilled. The couple worked hard to make sure that everyone left satisfied on opening day.
“We are definitely not going to run out of bagels today,” says Linde to the anxious crowd waiting for their orders to be filled. “We baked over 3,000 bagels in preparation for opening day, so we are ready.”
And if the opening crowds at Meshuggah Bagels are any indication, Kansas City is ready for them, as well.
Meshuggah Bagels is open Monday through Friday, 6:30am to 2pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 2pm.
Meshuggah Bagels, 1208 W. 39th Street, Kansas City, 816.330.6016, meshuggahbagels.com