A chain of bagel shops in the Washington, D.C., area that President Joe Biden visited a week after his inauguration is opening two locations in Denver.
Call Your Mother Deli, which launched in D.C. in 2018, plans to open at 1291 N. Pearl St. in Cap Hill and at 3870 Tennyson St. in Berkeley in early 2023.
“My wife and I traveled to a bunch of different cities, but nothing felt right,” said co-owner Andrew Dana. “Then when we toured Denver and looked at properties. Everything felt right. We loved the vibe and the neighborhoods, and it just clicked.”
Dana’s goddaughter also lives in Denver, so he’d visit frequently.
Dana and his wife and co-founder Daniela Moreira leased each of the 2,200-square-foot spaces here for 10 years. They plan to open one location three months prior to the other, depending on the length of the permitting process.
“While doing the tour, we found so much real estate we loved to the point where we had to talk each other down from doing more,” Dana said.
Call Your Mother Deli, named after something his Jewish grandmother would always yell at him, is known for its homemade bagels and unique bagel sandwiches, like “The Boca Club” with whitefish salad, bacon and greens. It does not attempt to recreate water from New York, like local shop Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen.
“We think with the right amount of love and cold fermentation time, any water can be great water,” Dana said. “We love the D.C. water and are looking forward to see how we make that Denver water work for us.”
Dana said they plan to create some sandwiches with specific Denver themes.
A single bagel costs $2.50 and bagel sandwiches range from $8.50 to $11, based on Call Your Mother’s D.C. menu.
The building Call Your Mother will occupy in Cap Hill is owned by Denver-based Kentro Group, which bought it for $850,000 in 2017, records show. The property was previously home to 7-Eleven, but has been unoccupied since Kentro’s purchase.
“The space was leased to an urgent care and a national coffee shop for over a year,” a Kentro Group representative said in a statement. “In both instances the city requirements on a small tenant improvement build-out made it extremely difficult for these tenants to move forward as this was not a new ground up development. The site is suited perfectly for a neighborhood bagel shop, especially with the dedicated parking.”
Call Your Mother’s Tennyson location, meanwhile, will be within an apartment building that was developed by Denver-based Alpine Investments that opened earlier this year and sold around the same time.
Dana and Moreira have hired local architect Tweed Studios to design their spaces, which have a Brooklyn hipster feel with lots of vibrant colors.
The couple started Call Your Mother Deli after opening a pizza shop called Timber Pizza Company. Dana was inspired by his time growing up, visiting his Jewish grandparents in Boca Raton.
Call Your Mother Deli has five locations in D.C. and two in Maryland, including the one that Biden stopped at in early 2021.
“Very rarely does something move the needle, but the presidential bump lasted about six months and blew the doors open after a time when we were hanging on for dear life,” Dana said.