Brueggers Bagels ...

What is it about change? Most people can’t stand the thought of their surroundings suddenly becoming different. Change tends to create stress and negativity no matter how small.

I recently experienced this phenomenon right here on the sidewalks of our beloved island. To say that I am angry might be too strong of a word, but I can say I have not been able to release the “change” from my mind.

I woke up one morning a few weeks ago, hopped on my bike and made my way to town for some coffee and a bagel. I have been on this island 15 years and always support local businesses and enjoy the fact that we can avoid a car ride to get what we want. Much to my surprise, upon approaching the door of Bruegger’s Bagels, the door was locked, and they were closed – PERMANENTLY! What the hell (sorry but I’m mad).

How could this happen? This is a local shop (albeit a chain) that is always busy, has a loyal following, friendly employees, and some of the best bagels outside of New York. As I processed this information it never occurred to me that this was a corporate takeover. I imagined they decided to move to another location on Orange Avenue, maybe a COVID outbreak, or even a remodel. Sadly, none of those were the case. Our beloved bagel shop is gone due to an extreme rent increase. Isn’t this the point where Islanders stand on the corner with picket signs and say enough is enough? How many large-scale restaurants does our small-town need? Aren’t we starting to follow the path of other cities who have lost their way and let money and status take over?

Coronado has long carried a mystifying charm that brings people away from their everyday hustle to our quiet, local and peaceful streets. We seem to be losing that allure little by little.

I am smart and savvy enough to understand that growth and development is sometimes necessary to keep things fresh and create a new revenue stream. But can we please consider the small-town shop owners who work hard and have kept their doors open to endless populations who keep coming back? These are not flailing, unsuccessful businesses that are disappearing, they are well established and a known presence in our town. Jobs are lost, familiar faces gone, and the brick and mortar grows larger with rent scales out of reach for smaller businesses.

Bruegger’s will be sorely missed and the town’s negative reaction to their absence has been evident. They are not the only shop we have lost and will be without going forward. Let’s examine the Coronado days of old where we stood with pride in the fact that we kept corporate America on the other side of the bridge. There are only so many beautiful buildings and intimate local shops left.

VOL. 112, NO. 43 - Oct. 26, 2022

(1) comment

I came back to the island because a nostalgic image I had in my head from back in 1999 when I first visited the community. A friend of mine lived here and paid $1200 for a nice two bedroom condo in the village. The local businesses made the hometown atmosphere real. There was no fakery or pernicious snobbery then, Coronado was a nice, simple, laidback and safe place.

Now, from talking to locals, it's becoming a corporate tourist trap with all the highfalutin trimmings. There is also an air of snobbery that you can cut like a knife. What happen to the nice families and friendly locals? I don't regret coming here but some of you folks bending to this Club Med image need to get over yourselves. You're all acting like this is Del Mar, La Jolla or Newport Beach.

When you lose a place like this bagel shop, it stops feeling like it's your community. The author here is absolutely correct. I think Coronado can move forward without caving into the corporate shills who want to take over the island just to make a buck or two.

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