Someday, you will be able to say you lived near the first Eltana. CHS has learned that the popular Capitol Hill-born bagelry is ready for its first expansion. Founder Stephen Brown tells CHS that there are more Eltanas to come.
“Our plans will take us beyond Seattle,” Brown said earlier this week, a wood-fired sparkle in his eye.
But first, Eltana is set to conquer Wallingford — or, to be more precise, the confluence of N 40th and Stone Way N.
Brown tells CHS that the next Eltana is slated to be part of the Stoneway Village development, a mixed-use apartment complex filling in a notorious crater left behind by a demolished Safeway. Brown says he expects the new location to be open by late summer or early fall.
“A lot of our business is people stopping in for 5 minutes for bagels and spreads to go,” Brown said. What he has learned, then, on 12th Ave, is that positioning his cafes at “connection points” is a critical aspect of business success. He sees his new north of the canal location as exactly the type of nexus Eltana needs.
The rest of the recipe for success established when he first opened Eltana on Capitol Hill in December 2010 will mostly remain the same, Brown said. The retail spaces are of similar size and the new location will also have a wood-fired oven so bagels will be baked at both locations. Some operations will be streamlined, however, as Daniel Levin will move over to GM the Stoneway location and the creation of other items like the spreads and salads are centralized.
No big changes are planned for the 12th Ave location — though a new neighbor is about to move in.
A new location will also mean you’ll see a new Eltana truck beating a path between the Hill and Wallingford. That truck will also be used for deliveries around the city as Brown says the expansion also marks the start of Eltana’s wholesale efforts, a line of business the cafe hadn’t yet fired up.
After that, it will be time to let things bake for a bit. Brown says not to expect any additional Eltana cafes in the world through 2013. Probably.
“Our plans have always been to take a deliciously different bagel directly to consumers,” Brown said, speaking in bagel code. Translation: There are likely many more Eltanas to come.