Einstein bagel chain may be coming to this area, Junction

When you say Einstein on the Front Range, residents don’t automatically think of the wild-haired, 20th century genius famous for the theory of relativity. Some of them think instead about bagels.

That may soon be the case on the Western Slope as well.

Einstien Bros. Bagels, a Lakewood-based business with more than 400 locations nationwide, finally is venturing to the other side of Colorado.

Franchisee John Cassity recently moved to Grand Junction from Boulder and has agreed to open six locations in the next 5 1/2 years in western Colorado and St. George, Utah, markets.

Cassity bought the territorial rights for the area that stretches from Summit County on the Interstate 70 corridor to Washington County in Utah.

Cassity said trips to Einstein Bros. Bagels are a tradition for him and his wife.

“We missed it so much when we moved here,” said Cassity, who has been a commercial banker for the past 10 years, and has played around with becoming a restaurant franchisee.

“We were looking at what would be the right foothold when we moved to Grand Junction.”

Cassity said Einstein Bros. began franchising in 2007, and it was an appealing investment because the company has an efficient system. It has figured out what works, and what doesn’t, he said.

Einstein Bros. is a part of the fast-casual-restaurant trend that has thrived because of quick service, reasonable prices and relatively healthier meals. The bagel shops aren’t just open for breakfast. They also provide a diverse lunch menu.

“I think that’s one of the best-kept secrets,” Cassity said

He has not picked a location for a Grand Junction shop yet, but he said he’d like to open one as soon as possible. He estimated it would take three months to set one up if he can find an existing shop that can be modified, and he would like to find a spot where a drive-through can be added. He said the mall area might be a good spot because it pulls people from all over the Grand Valley.

“I’m confident that Einstein Bros. Bagels will come in and complement the dining in Grand Junction,” Cassity said.

It won’t be the only bagel shop in town. Main Street Bagels, 559 Main St., owned by Mark Smith, has been operating in Grand Junction for 13 years. Smith said new competition doesn’t scare him. In the past his business felt little impact by the presence of other bagel shops, which have come and gone.

“Some people don’t like to go to chains if they can avoid it. They like to keep it local,” he said.


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