By Andrew Selover SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — When Starbucks Coffee closed its Marshall Street location, Syracuse locals and students were forced to a West Campus location and left wondering what would take over the prime real estate on the corner of Syracuse University’s famed street.
In January 2023, a bagel shop was introduced as the new restaurant coming to Marshall Street. Owners Nick Castronuovo, Carmine Curra and Peter Lombardo had been searching for five years for a location in Syracuse to open up a bagel shop, what they claim to be a missing option in the Syracuse food scene. Just ask the owners. They found their perfect place. “Did you see around here? This is the spot. We feel very confident,” explains Lombardo.
As can be expected when renovating the building and replacing all of the kitchen equipment, the opening for Schoolyard Bagels, as the shop has been named, was going to take time. The original plan was to open on August 1st. After multiple pushbacks, the group is currently targeting November 1st. “We’d like to be here before parents weekend,” said Castronuovo. “I’d call it fifty-fifty though on that happening. If not November 1st, before the middle of November. I’d go to the bank with that date.”
So the wait for handmade bagels in Syracuse is almost over, but there will be a number of other offerings for customers too. The owners plan to sell salads as well as different hero sandwiches with sandwich meats and other Italian staples such as chicken parmesan. Curra will serve as the main chef at Schoolyard Bagels and gained his experience in the kitchen from his two Italian parents.
Another important plan for Schoolyard Bagels is to remain open extensively throughout the week. The owners shared that they intend to open at 6am Monday through Friday and at 7am on the weekend. The shop will close at 9pm every night, but open its walk-up window on Marshall Street until 3am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lombardo pointed out that there are no store hours painted on the door because the shop wants to be flexible and serving to its customers.
As the restaurant sits just weeks away from serving its customers for the first time, Curra reflected back on the journey to get here. “A lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears,” the chef said. “We had to do a lot of construction in here. And the three of us: Nick, Peter and myself, we worked really hard, long hours.” Come November, the three anticipate that hard work will all be paid off.