There was something missing at the corner of West Mill and Schooley’s Mountain Roads. Something missing in the way a bagel’s center doesn’t exist.
Attie and Sarah Darwish wanted to fill that void, though, and have brought a new venture to Long Valley, opening their first eatery: Long Valley Bagel.
The store’s doors officially opened on Saturday, Dec. 28, and foot traffic has been growing by the day. Offering coffee and a cappuccino machine, the married owners have put themselves fully behind the business, which boils and bakes its own bagels and makes a variety of homemade cream cheeses.
A menu board above the grill boasts just about every sandwich combination one could ask for, and if a customer’s hankering isn’t on the list, Attie Darwish has no problem making it special for them.
Darwish, a longtime member of restaurant kitchens, brings his jovial personality to the front of the shop, which used to be an extension of Cottage Treasures and a gas station before that.
“We can make whatever you want,” said Darwish, smiling, as customers steadily flowed through the front door Monday morning. “Pancakes, waffles, sandwiches. Anything you want.”
All bagels are made on premises and hand-rolled before being boiled, baked and seasoned.
The sign announcing Long Valley Bagel’s forthcoming was placed on the window back in August, and it’s been a long haul – and a lot of sweat equity – for the Darwish family ever since.
Parents to four children under 11 years old, the couple spent plenty of days and nights preparing the business for a late fall grand opening. The timetable didn’t stick, but the doors had to be opened sooner than later.
“Starting (the business) was a little harder than expected,” Sarah Darwish said, “but so far it’s been good.”
A credit card machine was being installed Monday morning and customers won’t be able to dine in until the township’s zoning board approves one last item on the business at its Monday, Jan. 6 meeting.
Darwish was working on the interior as late as 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, he said. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there long enough to see who cracked one of his shop’s windows later in the evening or early Christmas morning.
“We fixed it and told the police, but had to keep going forward,” he said. “We’ve talked to the other business owners in the area and we have a good relationship with them.”
Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses line the front case and drinks ranging from water to soda and chocolate milk are available in coolers.
Long Valley Bagel is open from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.
“I’ve always loved Long Valley,” Darwish said told Patch back in August. “It’s a nice town, and a nice place with nice people.”
At first glance, Long Valley Bagel will fit right in.