Johnny and Sarah Zohir, the owners of Johnny’s Bagels & Deli, plan to open a sixth location of their restaurant chain this year near Lafayette College in Easton.
The couple bought property at 434 Cattell St. for $435,000 and closed on the acquisition Nov. 29, according to Northampton County property records.
The site is also home to The Shop, a hair salon and barbershop that will remain open.
Mike Gilbert of Allentown-based Lehigh Financial Group LLC said his firm arranged financing for the sale.
The Zohirs operate five Johnny’s Bagels locations, including three in Bethlehem and one in Allentown. In addition, they operate a deli in temporary space on the upper level of the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall Township and will open a new permanent location on the lower level of the mall near Boscov’s in February said Sarah Zohir, the chain’s co-owner.
She said they hope to open the Easton location before the start of the fall 2019 semester.
“We have been looking at the area for a very long time,” Zohir said.
They wanted to cater to other local colleges after gaining a niche market with Moravian College in Bethlehem for their first shop, which opened on Main Street in Bethlehem in 2000. They gained a strong following with Lehigh University students as well, which led to the chain’s opening a shop on Lehigh’s campus, she said.
“This was something else we wanted to do, open on College Hill near Lafayette,” Zohir said.
Students at Lafayette have been very vocal about wanting a bagel shop near campus, and many of them are from New Jersey where bagels are very popular, she added.
The Zohirs are planning some renovations for the two-story Cattell Street building. They want to open their shop in the commercial space on the first floor once occupied by an ice cream shop. The building also has three apartments upstairs, which they plan to keep.
The menu at the Easton shop will be the same as those at the chain’s other locations but also include signature dishes unique to Easton.
Johnny’s Bagels & Deli’s menu includes hand-rolled and kettle-boiled bagels, soups, salads, Paninis, locally roasted coffee and smoothies.