In the summer of 2021, Andrew Mather and his wife Kim (both born and raised in upstate New York) were knee deep in the details of planning to open a new bagel shop in Lynchburg, VA. One afternoon, while on a visit to neighboring Smith Mountain Lake, it occurred to Andrew that the lake area was woefully devoid of bagels, yet rich in northerners – in dire need of their ‘homeland’s beloved staple.
But life was full at the time, and all their energy went into the shop – which went on to open in the fall as planned. Half a year later, the growing reputation of The Bagel & I in Lynchburg landed them an invite to Amanda's Florals and Gifts as part of their spring celebration. The lines were long and the crowds enthusiastic for these authentic New York style bagels being offered in all the classic flavors!
It was a no-brainer for Amanda's to ask them back for recurring weekend pop-ups which continued right through late fall. During that time, Andrew built up quite a following of regulars - all asking (dare I say, begging?) for him to open a permanent presence at the lake.
A year to the month later, The Bagel & I opened the doors to their second brick-and-mortar location. It's located in Westlake - next to The Southern Goat, and the community has welcomed them with open arms.
The decor is reminiscent of a designer coffee shop with tasteful, lake-inspired touches scattered throughout. Rustic wood surfaces, cozy chairs, a couch, and window bar seating all surround a herd of table and chair sets in the center to offer options for whatever gathering style your party requires.
The menu is vast and varied. You can enjoy these toothsome bakery treats on their own, with a schmear, or made into a breakfast or lunch sandwich. They've compiled a nice mix of the usual suspects and unexpected gourmet combinations – like “The Scruggs” which piles pork roll, feta cheese, arugula, and fig jam atop a flavorful Everything bagel. All the sandwiches are named after well-known roads found here at the lake which adds a nice hometown touch to the food list. The majority of The Bagel & I's ingredients are made in-house every morning at their flagship location, including the delicious, marinated meats!
Though the Mathers still live in Lynchburg, drawn there because their children settled nearby, they are lake people through and through. Having lived on a lake in the Adirondacks for 10 years before coming south, they love to get out for some boating whenever they can. The whole family also enjoys relaxing getaways together at waterfront rental homes.
Bagel Flavors: 18 Schmear Flavors: 5 Gluten-Free Friendly? Yes! They carry Plain and Everything flavors that are gluten free. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 6am-2pm Saturday/Sunday 7am-2pm Monday - CLOSED Pet Policy: Bring Fido along - pets are welcomed on the wrap-around porch where you'll find loads of outdoor tables. Got a crowd? To feed 10 people: grab yourself a baker's dozen, two tubs of schmear, and a box of coffee to go! Breakfast? Sorted. *They do appreciate a days' notice for larger orders.