An exciting thing happened today! A new H&H Bagels opened at 526 Columbus Avenue between 85th and 86th Street. This particular H&H is actually called H&H Midtown Bagels East (which is confusing because it’s on the Upper West).
Here’s the story behind the name: H&H Midtown, which has another store at 1551 2nd Avenue, was originally owned by Helmer Toro, who also owned the famous H&H at 80th and Broadway that closed in 2011. After a bankruptcy filing, someone else took over the East side store. But Toro sued and a judge made the 2nd avenue location change its name in 2000.
The new H&H Midtown on Columbus has high ceilings and a long central table. It hand-rolls its bagels and sells prepared sandwiches. It will even put the spreads on the bagels for you, unlike the old H&H.
Kathleen, who sent in the photos above, gave the following review. (Remember, it’s just the first day!)
“Our order of 2 coffees, a toasted bagel with cream cheese, and a bacon egg and cheese came to just under $17. It was tasty, but operations were a bit of a mess. Maybe expected during the first week as they iron out logistics, but the three people in front of me received the wrong order, the cash registers were out of paper by 8:30am resulting in orders needed to be taken by hand, and I had to ask for my order 3 times before receiving it piecemeal.
The space is modern and clean, but somewhat poorly planned. The counter is too high to pass food over it and there isn’t a dedicated pick up area – which caused a traffic jam next to the cashiers. There’s an odd bar on the side as you walk in that isn’t quite clear what it’s for – not enough space to stand and eat at. There also weren’t any trash cans visible at all. Even with all of that, something new and needed in the neighborhood – and I’m hopeful it will be a valuable addition! I will go back, but maybe in a week :)”
We also asked Matt Godson, who sent the photo below, for a review. And how were the prices?
“Reasonable. Sub $3 for a bagel with plain cream cheese. Another dollar if you want it toasted. And they were delicious. Crispy and well balanced. I was nervous before they opened but I think they’ve retaken the UWS bagel crown.”
Update: an H&H manager tells us that there should not have been any charge for toasting, as that’s not their policy.
So if you were up late watching the news or whatever and you’re feeling stressed out (or happy), you can at least get a nice fresh bagel.