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Restaurant Openings and Closings

Starship Bagel’s Third Location Opens April 12—and Brings the Bakery Full Circle

The new location, in North Dallas shopping center Hillcrest Village, brings Oren Salomon’s bagel shop to the neighborhood where he grew up—and the Blockbuster Video where he used to check out VHS tapes.
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The new location of Starship Bagel is at the corner of Hillcrest and Arapaho Roads. Brian Reinhart

A little more than four years ago, Oren Salomon planned to open his “dream bagel shop” in Far North Dallas. It would have fresh bagels made that morning, hot coffee, plenty of seating, and a family-friendly vibe.

Then the pandemic hit, and Salomon scaled back his business plan. He took on a cheaper lease in Lewisville—his father’s lease from a shuttered restaurant—and bootstrapped Starship Bagel as a smaller-budget operation. From that humble strip mall spot, Starship went on to national acclaim.

This Friday, that long-awaited North Dallas “dream bagel shop” finally opens to the public at the corner of Hillcrest and Arapaho Roads.

“It all feels very full circle with this location,” Salomon says, adding that the new shop is in the same ZIP code where he grew up as a child. “This location solidifies my connection to my secular yet very Jewish upbringing, which is extremely personal to me and is a story I feel was only possible in this city.”

The new store marks the third location for Starship, to go with the Lewisville “mothership” and a “satellite” location in the heart of downtown Dallas. Sorry about all the space puns, but the company encourages it. Salomon wore a NASA jacket to the new spot’s launch party, and recently joked that when he opens a spinoff business, he’ll dub it “a Starship enterprise.” Except it probably wasn’t a joke.

All the chain’s bagels are made every morning in Lewisville and driven, while still hot, to the two Dallas locations.

The new Starship is also conveniently nestled between two major residential centers of the Dallas area’s Jewish community: North Dallas and Plano. Although Starship’s excellence appeals to anyone, Salomon is serious about keeping the bagel tied to the food’s original community and heritage.

“I’m hoping to become a secular third place for anyone of any background who seeks comfort in a Jewish space, or who seeks comfort from the Jewish bite we know as the bagel,” he says.

Salomon’s junior high school is only a mile away, and his high school only two miles away, underscoring his personal connection to the neighborhood. The new Starship Bagel space was a Blockbuster Video from 1996 to 2006, where Salomon once rented VHS tapes. Now that it’s a bagel shop, it’s painted in blue and yellow—not quite the same blue and yellow, but close enough you’ll notice—and the WiFi password is a nod to the video chain’s slogan. In the next few weeks, Starship is expecting the arrival of pictures of its menu items, blown up and designed as classic movie posters.

This is the part of the news story where I, as dining critic, crash into the article to offer an opinion. Starship Bagel is one of the best developments in the Dallas food scene in a long time. It’s not a private equity-backed chain or a real estate development ploy. It’s not an alcohol-fueled “clubstaurant” or a luxury brand made exclusive by its price point. Instead, Starship Bagel is a startup powered by passion and obsession: obsession over quality and passion for a preserving a specific, endangered culinary heritage. It’s funny to say this about a bagel chain in Texas—we’ve certainly gotten social media comments from people who don’t believe Texas is capable of producing an elite bagel—but you really can’t have an experience like Starship’s anywhere else. Including New York. That’s not to say it’s better, necessarily. But it’s great, and it’s unique to us.

I just wrote a few thousand words about Starship, its drive for an ever-better bagel, and what makes its mindset so valuable to the Dallas food scene. For now, though, here’s Salomon one last time, reflecting on the way that his company is now bringing world-class bagels to the ZIP code where he spent his childhood: “I grew up here, I live here now, I plan to keep living here. Dallas represents my past, present, and future.”

Starship Bagel, 6859 Arapaho Rd., Ste. 603 (plus locations in Lewisville and downtown Dallas)

Author

Brian Reinhart

Brian Reinhart

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Brian Reinhart became D Magazine's dining critic in 2022 after six years of writing about restaurants for the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News.
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