Collegetown Bagels is moving its downtown Ithaca storefront to a new location.
Collegetown Bagels — which owns three storefront shops in Tompkins County — is moving its downtown Ithaca storefront to the new City Centre building, which is currently being constructed on 301 East State Street and will open in summer 2019. Gregar Brous, co-owner of Collegetown Bagels, said the business was looking for a new idea and thought a building change could build on the downtown shop’s improvements.
“We have been in that location since we started,” Brous said. “We changed the store significantly, doubled the size of it and renovated it a few times. It’s time for something new, something fresh.”
Brous said he believes the new location could help business because customers coming from South Hill and East Hill may find it conveniently situated between both hills, making the location a great meeting and recreational spot.
“We believe it will be an iconic building for years to come,” Brous said.
Ithaca College junior Jackie Gray is a regular customer at Collegetown Bagels and said she was excited about the upcoming move because now there will be two nearby locations for her to visit, referring to the company’s second location, which is on College Avenue. With the CTB on North Aurora Street moving to East State Street, both locations will be convenient for Gray to visit.
“I would say I go there at least once a week, so I hope to go there more,” Gray said.
Brous said he wants to improve business by creating a larger outdoor seating area at the new location. The business will also be able to have a larger capacity of customers — the previous location was 1,500 square feet, and the new location will have 2,300 square feet.
“We are hoping that it will grow business, given that our expenses will be significantly higher,” Brous said. “We are going to be much more visible, accessible, and we are expanding our product line. We will also offer more parking and more seating.”
The expenses will be higher for the business because costs like rent will increase, Brous said. He said the new location will be closer to several parking garages and there will also be street parking in front of the shop.
Brous plans to add new products to the shop, like beer and wine. Collegetown Bagels will also expand its menu by adding healthier items, like grain bowls and grab-and-go items that will broaden the products the company already offers.
“We are most excited about creating a new feel,” Brous said. “We are modernizing who CTB is and getting ready for the next generation and the next decade. We believe there are ways that we can adjust and change that will be really exciting to the customer base.”
Brous said he anticipates growth in consumers because the new location will have a number of businesses around that may help attract more customers to it. He is planning to do surveys with current customers to understand what they like and what new things they would like to see. He is hoping to gain new potential customers and not lose any regular customers.
Heather Brecht, lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, said she has concerns that the new location will lose the small–business association with it.
“I feel like I will go less often,” Brecht said. “I feel like there was a nice, small–business vibe up there, and I’m not sure how I will feel in a more surrounded environment.”Although Brecht said she does not feel the change will make her a more frequent customer, she said she does believe that moving to City Centre will help the business gain customers because there are always a lot of people in that area.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Collegetown Bagels located on College Avenue would be moving. It has been corrected to say that the Collegetown Bagels on Aurora street will be moving to City Centre. Also, it was clarified that CTB owns three storefront locations in Ithaca and that prices of goods will not necessarily rise due to the move