Eric Mills and Jesse Warnock have been conceptualizing a restaurant for years. Warnock, a Charleston Hospitality Group veteran, and Mills, a bartender and eco-tour guide, knew they wanted to open something simple yet delicious and with their new Eastside Bagel sandwich shop opening on Line Street next Tuesday, they think they’ve finally hit on the right concept.
“I first discovered the concept while at Miami University at Oxford, Ohio’s Bagel & Deli,” says Mills of their steamed bagel sandwiches. “We steam these things just perfect. The cooking method really makes the best a bagel sandwich. The way it works is we use bagels from James Island’s Bagel Nation, the men build a sandwich with whatever meats and cheeses you’ve ordered, then place it open-faced in the steamer with both sides exposed. After all the veggies are added, then it’s wrapped up to go.
“We’ve never tasted a more lighthearted slice of turkey or a meltier piece of cheese,” Eastside Bagel’s website reads.
Their menu includes 35 steamy iterations — The Hamover Street, Going Back to Cauli, and fried bologna Screech Powers — as well as a Build Your Own option. None of the sandwiches top $9, and you can make the meal a combo with chips and a drink for an additional $2. Mills says they hope their casual vibe and affordable prices will encourage area neighbors and area college kids alike to come in.
“We didn’t want to exclude anyone. If you don’t like bagels, you’re out of luck, but other than that we want to accommodate everyone,” says Mills. “We’ll wrap it up, put it in a brown bag, pat you on the butt, and hope we see you again.”
Seeing repeat customers, of course, all depends on their staying power. The tiny bodege they’ve moved into at 8-D Line St. has been three different enterprises in the past four years including Georgean’s Caribbean Soul, Thrive Organic Eatery, and Hibachi.
[content-1] “We’ve done our own research about prior tenants, but I just feel like the fast casual breakfast, lunch quick cool spot is a niche downtown and certainly on the Eastside here,” says Mills.
Eastside Bagels will open for business Tues. April 3 and will operate daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit eastsidebagels.com for the full menu.