New York-style bagels have arrived in Owensboro. Libertalia Coffee and Bagels has added bagels and sandwiches to its menu at its storefront in Wesleyan Park Plaza with a new brand identity.
Owner Chris Hamilton launched the business to introduce the Owensboro community to New York-style coffee. Since Libertalia’s inception and well before the mobile truck, Hamilton always wanted to add New York-style bagels to the menu.
“I remember that we would just love one day to own a bagel shop, and we would call it Smash and Grab bagels, and it would be this really cool thing, but it was really an impossible dream for us at the time,” Hamilton said. “Now fast forward a couple of years later, and it really kind of fell into our laps to have this opportunity laid out.”
He describes the quintessential New York bagel as different from the start because of how it’s baked, involving a technique called kettle boiling the bagel. Hamilton said the process creates a different texture than the bagels typically purchased at the store.
To bring the magic to Owensboro, they have partnered with a wholesaler in Long Island City, Queens, New York. The wholesaler makes the bagels and ships them to Libertalia within 12 hours for guaranteed freshness.
They experimented with how the community would respond to the bagels earlier this summer and saw positive results, noticing several repeat customers.
“We’ve taken them to businesses all around town and gotten really, really good feedback from all these businesses that we’ve been to, and they’ve been a huge hit at the Farmer’s market,” Hamilton said.
Since the rebrand, they’ve opened at 2682 Frederica St in Wesleyan Park Plaza next to Pure Barre. To celebrate, they had a launch party at their location on Saturday, giving away several bagels.
The restaurant also boasts longer hours and is working to finish renovations at the location.
Hamilton noted they have been operating out of Wheatgrass Juice Bar’s Wesleyan Plaza location since January, and their support has enabled them to continue this today.
“We just couldn’t be more pleased with how the community has rallied behind it and gotten really excited about something that isn’t traditional in Owensboro, but it is an iconic American food,” he said.