New Orleans has welcomed a small but dynamic bagel boom in the last few years, mostly pandemic-born operations that sell their wares via pop-ups, farmers markets, and home delivery. Now, one of the most in-demand independent bagelries to hit the city in that time, Flour Moon Bagels, is set to bring cacio e pepe, pumpernickel, rosemary sea salt, and more to a permanent storefront in Mid City.
Opening on the Lafitte Greenway next to (and in the same building as) Hey! Cafe at 2606 St. Louis St., Flour Moon’s exciting move from pop-up to restaurant has been a dream for some time, says chef and owner Breanne Kostyk. “I’ve known I wanted to open a bagel shop for years,” says Kostyk, who realized she had a “quality product” while making them as part of her role as head pastry chef for New Orleans’s Ace Hotel. “We are somewhat underserved in terms of dedicated bagel shops; to only really have one [Humble Bagels] in a city this size, I think it’s something people would like to see,” Kostyk says.
Kostyk started Flour Moon Bagels, remarkably, during a time when she was home recovering from a double mastectomy to treat breast cancer. She was getting back to working in her home kitchen, Kostyk says, and saw it as an opportunity to open the business she’d envisioned for years. She launched, on a small scale, in May 2020. “In my home oven I could make about 18 bagels at a time,” she says.
“I started an Instagram account, started trying to establish the brand I wanted to become. I would post for friends and neighbors when I made bagels, about two or three times a week, and it spread pretty quickly,” says Kostyk. Then Mid City coffee shop Coffee Science gave her a platform to pop up there once a week, and from there the business really took off, Kostyk says.
When she returned to work at the Ace, she was able to use the kitchen as a commissary after hours. So every Saturday night after she clocked out, she would roll anywhere from 20 to 30 dozen bagels, then come back between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning and boil and bake them, then head to Coffee Science for the Sunday market. “It was a lot,” Kostyk laughs.
The bagel varieties changed weekly, but usually included some combination of Everything, sesame, poppyseed, pumpernickel, rosemary or sage sea salt, and whole wheat; Flour Moon’s “plain” bagel has a touch of sea salt. Special flavors that have made repeat, but less frequent, appearances on the weekly menu include za’atar, cacio e pepe, onion and sumac, and cranberry sage. The cacio e pepe bagel, inspired by the popular version of the pasta dish at the Ace’s Josephine Estelle restaurant, routinely blows people’s minds; but Kostyk says the best-seller is the Everything, with rosemary sea salt a close second.
Kostyk’s been looking at the Greenway space for a little over a year, she says, and signed a lease back in May 2021. In addition to selling her bagels, the restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch — bagel sandwiches, tartines, etc. Kostyk looks forward to establishing a “strong small fish program” for items like gravlax and beet-cured salmon, and will serve Hey! Cafe coffee from next door — drip and cold brew only. The address has a liquor license, so Kostyk says they’ll do bloody marys, DIY mimosas, and eventually frozen drinks. Most seating will be on a large, covered outdoor terrace that can be used even when it rains. “We want it to be sort of bodega style. The kind of place you want to hang out,” Kostyk says.
If everything proceeds as planned — securing hard-to-find equipment, getting supplies in on time, staffing — Kostyk plans to open Flour Moon Bagels at 2606 St. Louis Street this spring.
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