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NY Bagel campus locale rolling away tonight

Nov. 11, 1997

By Jennifer Paschal

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

The New York Bagel Cafe is closing its 1700 5th St. location at 8 p.m. today after nine months in business. The shop is the first in 41 company-owned stores to shut down in 12 years of the corporation's existence.

The first Waco shop was opened a year-and-a-half ago at 5188 W. Waco Dr., followed by the Fifth Street location in February of this year. Paul Sorrentino, vice president of the Stillwater, Okla.,-based corporation says there just aren't enough people in Waco to keep both of the stores going.

'We had hoped that business at the campus location would pick up after the summer months, but we just haven't had enough volume to keep it profitable,' Sorrentino said. 'It's sad in many respects because we had so many regulars, but we can't help that there is less demographics in population in that area.'

According to Eric Messenger, assistant manager of the Waco Drive location, their store shouldn't be affected very much by the closing because their clientele includes most of the city's population.

'The campus shop depends on when school is in session and when the breaks are. This means most of the business comes from students and when they aren't here, business tends to break down,' Messenger said.

Oberlin Fonseca, the manager of the 5th Street location said there were rumors of moving the shop to a location with a drive-through.

'We had hoped that this was the case and we are all very saddened by the closing,' Fonseca said. 'Of course, corporate America isn't soft. When they make a decision like this, you really can't take it personally.'

One loyal New York Bagel patron even started a petition to keep the store open. Connie Shallin, a Baylor law school student, said she was very upset when she overheard someone talking about the closing because the restaurant had become very popular in the law school.

'It sounds to me like someone didn't do their homework because low sales normally means poor marketing,' Shallin said. 'I started the petition because the law school runs year round and has given this place a lot of business.'

The petition, which is posted at the 5th Street location, received more than 30 signatures before Shallin was able to put it up. She has also posted signs at the law school in hopes of getting more support.

'The petition has made all of us feel very cared about and we do want to thank everybody for their support,' Fonseca said. 'Hopefully we will be joined together again with the Baylor community sometime in the future.'

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