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July 19, 2023

Kismet Bagels to expand to the Main Line with new luncheonette in Lower Merion

Slated to open by mid-fall, the restaurant will feature all-new lunch and coffee menus

Food & Drink Bagels
Kismet Bagels Lower Merion Provided Image/Mike Prince

Kismet Bagels is opening a breakfast and lunch location in Lower Merion this fall that's triple the size of its three existing shops in Philadelphia.

Kismet Bagels, a pandemic project that has since spawned three locations in Philadelphia, is planning to expand with a breakfast and lunch spot in Lower Merion, its owners said Wednesday. 

Located at 801 Montgomery Ave., in the Penn Valley neighborhood, Kismet Bagels Luncheonette is set for a grand opening by mid-fall, according to an Instagram post by Alexandra and Jacob Cohen, the husband-and-wife duo that founded Kismet more than three years ago. The fourth shop, the first in the suburbs, will be much bigger than Kismet's other locations.

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The luncheonette will take the former space of Ginza, a Japanese restaurant that closed earlier this year. The Cohens said Alexandra and her grandmother used to have weekly lunch dates at the sushi restaurant.

"It feels so Kismet based on how this all came about," the Cohens posted. "A realtor reached out to us offering this space and while we had no intentions of opening up another shop anytime soon, there were far too many positive factors for us to turn this opportunity down. To all of our suburb friends, we're comin' for ya!" 

The new restaurant will sell Kismet's line of bagels and bialys, a type of round roll with a center that's packed with onions, cheese and other ingredients, along with freshly baked pastries. The luncheonette will include a full coffee menu and non-bagel lunch menu that is not available at any of the other Kismet locations.

Kismet Bagels was born out of the early days of the pandemic, when the Cohen's jobs in entertainment and sales were put on hold. To pass the time, the couple started baking bread and bagels for friends and family, then began selling them to raise money for Project Home, an organization that supports Philly's homeless community. 

After doing a handful of pop-ups, they decided to open their first storefront in Fishtown last spring, followed by their second storefront in Center City last fall. They also opened a shop dedicated to bialys in Reading Terminal Market. 

Aside from its bagel shops and luncheonette, Kismet's bagels and schmears are sold at retailers like Di Bruno Bros., Riverwards Produce, The Rounds, OCF Coffee House, local farmers markets and GoPuff. 

The Cohens will post updates about the restaurant as the opening nears.