In 1983, the Katz family brought the first true bagel shop to Memphis. The restaurant was originally at the corner of Poplar and Mendenhall before the family moved it to the current location. That’s when they started calling the business “The Bagel”—a name that has stuck with the restaurant to this day. The restaurant mastered the art of making people feel like they were dining out while fitting in. In 1995, the Katz family retired.
In 2018, Rebecca and Scott Sorin dined at The Bagel with their children for (what they thought would be) the last time. Rebecca remembers saying, “I can’t believe we’re going to lose The Bagel. At that very moment, it became a family endeavor. The entrepreneurial couple would not let The Bagel fade into Memphis history. With the help of their parents, Lisa, Jane and David, plans to revive The Bagel flew into action.
In fact, it might seem that this family was destined to restore this eatery to its previous grandeur. With Rebecca’s Management, Human Resources experience, and ties to New York and Scott’s restaurant and business expertise, the couple’s skills were a perfect match.
The Plough family has been part of the fabric of the Memphis community and culture for generations. Philanthropy efforts led by Abe Plough and The Plough Foundation have helped sustain the local economy. While Rebecca Plough Sorin was born and raised in Memphis, her mother was born in New York and the two have many memories of spending time there and eating in New York delicatessens with Rebecca’s grandmother. A tribute to this quality of goods, The Bagel now uses meats, cheeses and fish directly from New York while the rest of the menu is schmeared with recipes from dear family and friends.
The Sorin family’s restaurant experience runs deep. From their involvement in The Public Eye and Corky’s to several other Bar-B-Q restaurants around the nation, the Sorin family has owned and operated more than 25 restaurants since 1974. With the opportunity to re-open The Bagel, Scott put that experience to use and simply transitioned his expertise from Memphis Bar-B -Q to New York style bagels and deli.
The couple completely renovated the restaurant to have a clean look that is bright, modern and still a little retro. It is once again an authentic New York style deli experience, but this time with a little extra southern charm.
The Bagel is back. Only better!