Bagels by the Book reopening in late September


Grant Herbek

Bagels by the Book, a go-to breakfast spot for Libertyville residents, is opening back up after being closed for about three months. Renovations and improvements within the restaurant are being made to accompany its return.

Bagels by the Book, a local breakfast restaurant, is being reopened at the end of this month by the same owner, Danielle Little, as it was when they closed down in June.

When Bagels, as it is commonly referred to, closed down, there were no intentions of ever reopening. It was only a month ago that Little realized she would be able to reopen.

According to a Daily Herald article published on June 18, “She wasn’t planning to close but her lease was not renewed after a disagreement with the landlord.” However, when Drops of Ink asked Little about this during an interview over the phone, she did not want to disclose why the store closed initially.

As for Bagels by the Book reopening, Little — who bought the store in 2000 from its original owner, Mike Book — has been working this past month on renovations for the reopen.

The improvements include a fresh coat of paint, updated plumbing, more seating for customers and more room for customer service as well as some slight menu changes.

“There will be more standing room for customers waiting in line to order and less room for workers in the back,” explained Little.  

During the time that Bagels was closed, there were rumors of another local favorite restaurant, Pizzeria DeVille, buying the shop and changing the name. Little declined to comment on this topic.

Mr. John Durning, the owner of Pizzeria DeVille, confirmed in a phone interview that he is looking to open up a new bagel/deli/grill concept shop in Libertyville and was looking into purchasing Bagels by the Book when it closed back in June. He had separate meetings with both Little and the landlord to discuss the future of the store.

However, due to Panera’s lease contract that limits what other shops can sell in the strip mall, Mr. Durning decided to turn down the opportunity but is currently in the works of looking at other places in Libertyville that would suit the new restaurant’s needs.

Due to the fact that Bagels’ lease predated the Panera lease, they were allowed to keep selling their bagels when Panera opened a few doors down. According to Mr. Durning, other than bagels, Bagels by the Book is limited in what else they can offer to customers.

Layan Abdo is a senior at Libertyville High School and has worked at Bagels by the Book since the summer going into her junior year.

“I heard good things through the grapevine…so I just kind of applied on a whim with one of my other friends, and we both ended up getting the job and I’m so glad [I] ended up doing it,” explained Abdo.

Abdo will continue to work at Bagels by the Book after it reopens at the end of September.

When Bagels by the Book closed back in June, Abdo and her co-workers knew a little bit further in advance that it would be closing but only a few days before word got out to the public.

While it was Abdo’s summer job, she said it was nice for her to have a break from constantly working and rather just babysat periodically for the remainder of the break.

“I was on vacation a lot in July, so it kind of worked out that I just chilled a little bit and picked up a couple babysitting jobs here and there,” said Abdo.

One thing Abdo enjoyed about working at Bagels was the atmosphere of the shop.

“My favorite part was the energy; it was always super lively and super busy. It was awesome getting to see people come in [throughout their teen years] and also working with such good people was amazing,” gushed Abdo.

Little’s favorite thing to make for customers is their breakfast sandwiches, and she enjoys them as well.

“[Breakfast sandwiches] are my favorite to eat and make. I love seeing customers take their first bite of the sandwich,” stated Little.

Little is very excited to be able to open up her shop again to customers and work with the employees again:“I miss the kids the most. All the interactions and working with amazing employees has always been amazing.”