Piedmont Heights Historical Archives
the Royal Bagel at Ansley Mall
(Excerpted from a 2014 Atlanta Jewish Times article):
For over 20 years, The Royal Bagel was an Atlanta institution. When it opened in 1974, most locals didn’t know what a bagel was. When the doors closed for the final time in 1997, the bagel shop founded by Michael, Kenny and Rose Yoss had been voted “Best of Atlanta” thirteen years running. .... Michael was just 22 years old when he opened the bakery with his parents in Ansley Mall, which, when at its peak, employed 50 people. His father, Kenny, would hand out cookies to kids who came into the bakery, leaving many people with fond memories of the shop.
Every Sunday, the Bagel Bunch gathered in the promenade of Ansley Mall. This loyal group of customers brought their own outdoor tables and chairs so as not to dominate the indoor seating while they chatted for hours about nearly any topic under the sun. (see below for several wonderful articles about the Bagel Bunch)
The Royal Bagel touched the lives of people near and far, as evidenced from dozens of sentimental notes bestowed upon the Yoss family by customers in Tucker, Smyrna, North Carolina, and even as far away as Washington state.
When Royal Bagel closed in 1997 amid an infusion of big-chain bakeries as well as local bagel shops throughout the suburbs, customers wrote notes – even on napkins – to express their heartfelt thoughts one last time. One family's note was written by their dog, Cosmo. It seems like everyone's babies teethed on a bagel from Royal Bagel, and children delighted in the pink and green leaf cookies presented to them by The Bagel Man, Kenny Yoss.
If there's anything to be learned from the closing of The Royal Bagel, it's a few things: a good bagel takes time and is hard to find; bagels bring people together; and the importance of continuously supporting local, authentic, quality businesses cannot be understated. With that said, Brooklyn Bagel opened in Ansley Mall (in a different location from The Royal Bagel)
Thank you to Michael Yoss, former co-owner of The Royal Bagel, for contributing many photos, articles, and other memorabilia to the Piedmont Heights historical archive.
Click here to see more photos, along with captions. Help us identify people in the photos – contact us if you see someone you know (or even yourself), or if you'd like to share your own photos from The Royal Bagel with PHCA!
Newspaper Articles about The Royal Bagel
September 3, 1981 – North Fulton Extra
"Bagels on Wheels: Bread-Minded Businesswomen Keep Neighborhood in Bagels," by Barbara Laker
March 27, 1992 – Atlanta Jewish Times
"Conservative Rabbi Renews Royal Bagel's Kashrut License," by Fran Rothbard
May 22, 1997 – AJC CityLife
"Shop's Closing a Royal Pain: Loyal bagel buyers bid sad farewell to city landmark," by Holly Crenshaw
May 30, 1997 – Atlanta Jewish Times
"A Royal End: Midtown's landmark bagel shop closes after 23 years as a Jewish family gathering place," by Melanie A. Lasoff
December 16, 2005 – Atlanta Jewish Times
"Tic, Tac, Dough: Bagels lose Jewish flavor while cornering the market / Big Business, Little Tradition," by Tova Fruchtman