For owner Adam Hirsh, bringing Exodus Bagels to Jamaica Plain was a homecoming of sorts. What began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 to help fund a permanent location for the local bagel pop-up that operates a kitchen in Roslindale led Hirsh to the same area he has resided in for the past 15 years. While the Roslindale space will continue to function as Exodus’ commercial kitchen, the retail spot on Washington Street, set to open in February, will be where Hirsh and co-owner Priscilla Andrade will serve fresh bagels and sandwiches for their own community.
“I’m making sure what I’m bringing is for them too—for the neighborhood and the residents who live here,” Hirsh says. “I wasn’t bringing some fancy restaurant. I was bringing one of those daily, get-to-know-your-neighbors establishments.”
Exodus will take up residence in the space formerly occupied by Canto 6 Bakery & Cafe, known for its baked goods and breakfast pastries, which shuttered in August 2016. Hirsh will pay tribute to the beloved neighborhood spot with sweet treats like babka and whoopie pies, though the storefront, which is licensed for seven seats, will include an opening menu that is otherwise recognizable to Exodus patrons.
“It’s going to be everything that we brought to markets and pop-ups, but available six days a week and with the obvious notion that we always grow into our space, so we’re going to do a lot more here,” Hirsh says.
Customers will order at the counter—made with white oak sourced from the Arnold Arboretum—from a menu of flavored bagels, such as salt, sesame, jalapeño cheddar or garlic asiago. Spreads go beyond plain cream cheese, with variations like horseradish dill, bacon everything and Sriracha, along with a white bean spread for vegans. The six to eight sandwiches include options like the Monumental, made with egg, onion jam, plain cream cheese and bacon or avocado, and the Cluck, featuring housemade chicken salad, smoked gouda and spicy relish. Guests can wash it all down with hot or iced coffee, and should also keep an eye out for forthcoming dishes like brisket and pizza bagels.
“We recognize that all food is nostalgic, but certain foods are even more so,” Hirsh says. “Bagels are one of those foods that no matter how you get introduced to them, you identify with that particular flavor. That becomes the one that tastes like your past.” ◆
Exodus Bagels 3346 Washington St., Boston (617-323-3354) exodusbagels.com