Detroit Institute of Bagels in Corktown has closed and is looking for new owners

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A Corktown business owner has made the difficult decision to put his cafe up for sale after seven years of serving the community. 

Detroit Institute of Bagels owner Ben Newman cites a few reasons for "exploring a sale." The 3,400-square-foot Michigan Avenue building is currently listed for more than $1.5 million, as reported Tuesday by Deadline Detroit. Newman says he's confident the corner will continue to be a bagel shop. 

A family enjoys a meal at the counter. On the edge of Corktown, the Detroit Institute of Bagels serves homemade, baked daily bagels with a variety of spreads and sides.

"As a neighborhood resident and experienced bageler I will do my best to make sure whoever takes it over is set up for success," he said in an email to The Detroit News. 

He says he's already had a few offers on the business and building. 

Newman says right now it is important for him to be able to spend time with his family, and there's also the negative effect COVID-19 has had on a neighborhood business such as his. 

"Without the positive reinforcement of seeing people gather and converse over bagels, my passion to make bagels to realize a greater vision has waned," he said.

If the pandemic hadn't hit, Newman said Detroit Institute of Bagels would currently be in the midst of an expansion project between it and neighboring business PJ's Lager House, which went up for sale last summer and is currently open and operating.  

"We had been working with an architect and kitchen designer for two years developing plans and received permits on March 10 of this year," said Newman. "This was going to be a new and exciting challenge that helped realize the long-term vision for the business of using bagels to invest in our people, community and future."

Ben Newman stands outside the Detroit Institute of Bagels before it opened in 2013.

Now, however, he says it seems "kind of insane" to take out a $1 million loan to build more capacity and seating. 

Detroit Institute of Bagels, temporarily closed for business, is at 1236 Michigan in Detroit.

Twitter: @melodybaetens