New York comes to Jasper witharrival of the Moss Bronx Bagel


Originally published in The Huntingburg Press
By Angie McDonald

Imagine, if you will, the Big Apple.

The City That Never Sleeps has just made its inimitable presence known in, of all places, southern Indiana.

More specifically, Jasper, Indiana.

Just recently, the new deli Bronx Bagel officially opened for business, providing a little slice of New York to hungry customers, complete with lox, cream cheese, and whatever else might strike one's culinary fancy.

Strategically located on the north-west corner of Sixth and Newton in the heart of Jasper, Bronx Bagel has been under construction for several weeks as the building that once housed a gas station, bridal shop, and most recently, a water softening company was retrofitted for the state-of-the-art bagel bakery and deli shop.

To what do we owe this transformation of a little square of Dubois County real estate into a storefront right out of Queens?

Dr. Richard Moss, ear, nose, and throat specialist and plastic surgeon, that's who.

Although he has been practicing medicine here in the area for some time, the New York born-and-bred physician was getting a bit homesick for the neighborhoods in which he grew up. As far as he was concerned, bagels are the Bronx, and he wanted to bring some of that atmosphere he loved so much here to Dubois County.

Moss has recruited Italian bagel artist and native New Yorker Anthony Barba to head up the new operation, which will serve up a dazzling array of specialty bagels including poppy seed, garlic, pumpernickel, onion, salt, blueberry, cinnamon, raisin, egg, and whole wheat. Weekly specials will include such treats as chocolate chip, caraway-rye, spinach, jalapeno, and even pineapple versions of the chewy, doughnut-shaped bread. Aside from the standard bagel items, customers can avail themselves of a variety of New York-style deli sandwiches and salads for either take-out or in-house dining.

Adding to the unique atmosphere inside the 1,600-square-foot restaurant will be a 20-by-10-foot mural painted by Wendell Field, an artist who has painted several large wall murals in the city of Jasper. Moss says that Field's commissioned work will combine elements both of Jasper and New York, blending the two highly diverse communities into one happy whole. Bill Birge of the Framing Guild has already painted borders along the ceilings, as well as colorful "bread art" inside above the front door.

Moss has gone to great lengths to preserve the interior spaces of what once was a gas station, deciding to leave interior walls in place rather than gutting the structure. He has felt that historical preservation was one big drawing card for his eatery, going one step beyond the strictly utilitarian. Old pictures of Jasper to be displayed on the walls inside will highlight the city's past, while New York-style lighting fixtures and other such styling accents will add to the exciting urban atmosphere that is unique to that city, including bright neon signs outside that advertise fresh muffins, pastries ,gourmet coffee, and of course, the store's own logo.

Moss has spared no expense to create his authentic New York cuisine, investing in a special $20,000 steam oven that can process over 27 dozen bagels in the lightning fast time of 12 minutes. That is, after all the other preparation of the breads has been done. At the outset, a dough mixing machine combines 200 pounds of flour with all the other ingredients needed to .reach its maximum capacity of 250 pounds. This seemingly huge quantity translates into roughly 45 dozen bagels.

After being mixed, the dough is divided up into bagel-sized pieces and formed by machine into the bagels themselves. After proofing (rising), a good, long chill in the large, walk-in cooler is essential, restaurant manager Barba says, to produce just the right texture and high gloss that bagels are known for. After refrigeration, the bagels are baked at a blast-furnace wet heat of 525 degrees F. From the oven it's into the various bins for sale and consumption.

Moss is looking forward to watching his foray into the restaurant business take off in a big way. He has followed the trend of the bagel's popularity as it has worked its way from both the East and West Coasts into the heartland of America. With several successful bagel businesses located in Louisville, Evansville, Indianapolis, and Bloomington, he believes that Jasper is due for similar success.

In addition to its storefront sales, Bronx Bagel is available to cater various events, as well as make deliveries for a minimum order of $20. The traditional taste of New York" will be open from 6:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday; and can be reached at 634-7LOX.


  • There are no comments.
Add Comment