There’s a slew of new concessions coming to the Denver International Airport this year and the next. From sushi and ramen to craft cocktails and coffee, the selection is as vast as it is satisfying. One DIA addition, however, is set to serve up authentic Jewish specialties stacked to the sky with taste and tradition.
For Denver natives, The Bagel Deli probably needs no introduction. For everyone else, a quick briefing may be in order before you toss it in the high pile of sub shops and pastrami wannabes. That said, What Now Denver caught up with Jared Kaplan, third-generation owner of The Bagel Deli, to get the scoop & skinny about the incoming airport establishment and a feel for what’s to come.
What Now Denver: Tell us a little bit about The Bagel Deli and Restaurant and its history…
Jared: My grandparents came here from Austria in ‘39 to get away from the war. Then, when they got here, my grandpa joined the 10th Mountain Division and went right back to fighting for freedom. After returning from the war, he started running a linen company on Colfax. He and my grandma had two children and worked relentlessly until they were able to open The Bagel Deli and Restaurant in 1967.
We have a very rich history here. I’m a third-generation owner and I love what I do. We’re an institution in Denver.
WND: What’s Bagel Deli’s timeline for opening at the Denver International Airport?
Jared: It’s a moving target right now, so I don’t have an exact timeline. However, from what I understand, we should be opening in the second or third quarter of 2023.
WND: The Bagel Deli has a vast menu. Will it remain the same/as extensive or will you truncate it given the often quick and cramped airport atmosphere?
Jared: We’re going to try to keep most of our more well-known stuff on the menu. We’ll have our soups, Reubens, breakfast sandwiches, corned beef sandwiches, and pastrami sandwiches – we’re gonna keep a lot of our really traditional stuff.
We obviously can’t provide the full menu because we have, like, 800 different things, but we’re going to keep everything that’s made us who we are. We’re definitely not adding anything new. However, menus are subject to change as things get closer and as we see how everything’s working – or not working.
WND: The Bagel Deli has one location, so this airport concession is great – it will allow people from all over the world to experience your food…
Jared: Exactly. We were on the Food Network on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” three times, so after that, there were people who would arrive in Denver and come straight to us because they knew who we were and what we did. It’s been a great thing, and now people can experience it right at the airport if they can’t make it to our [flagship].
WND: What is your favorite menu item?
Jared: That’s really hard to say because we have so much different stuff, but I can give you some of my favorites – I’m willing to bring it down to three. I mean, our Reuben sandwich is phenomenal. People come from New York and are like, “Oh my, God, this reminds me of being home.” That has to be the best compliment. Then there’s my favorite breakfast sandwich which is an everything bagel, jalapeno-cheddar cream cheese, egg, and our pastrami or sausage. And third is probably our pastrami sandwich.
WND: What are your hopes for this airport location?
Jared: We just want to bring a little bit of home to everyone at the airport.