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East Cobb diner going strong nearly 30 years after opening

Bagelicious might be known for its large variety of bagels, but this mom and pop operation offers more than just homemade food.

EAST COBB, Ga. — If you’re looking for a kosher breakfast or lunch but don’t feel like cooking, checkout Bagelicious in East Cobb. It’s a family-owned diner that’s been around for nearly 30 years.

“We’ve been here 29 years” Carol Carola, the owner, said. “It started in East Meadow, New York, the first Bagelicious. We came down here in 1983 and my brother opened up one of the first bagels stores. It was Bagel Eatery on Abernathy Road, and we followed him. We opened up Bagelicious.”

The family-friendly diner offers at least 20 different made-from-scratch bagels that can be eaten plain, tasted, or made into a sandwich. There’s also a full menu of other options, and the employees are some of the most experienced in town.

“We've had the same employee since we opened up the store 29 years,” Carol said.

And that’s no exaggeration. More than half the staff has worked at Bagelicious for 25 years or more. Even the children of the owners work there on a regular basis.

“I started working the register at age 12,” Alex Carola said. “Maybe someday when I take over, we will take credit cards, but we'll see how that goes.”

It’s an ongoing joke between Alex and his sister, Hannah Dombrowski. You might call them the rightful heirs to the Bagelicious throne.

“It's mine and my brothers when [our parents] finally retire,” Hannah said. “My brother and I don't really want to deal with angry people who refuse to carry cash.”

However, for their parents, the decision to only accept cash or check was part of the business model from day one.

“My husband and I decided when we opened up that we would not take credit cards,” Carol said. “We wanted to fund our community. Let's say for argument's sake your child goes to high school and he needs to sell a certain amount of coffee to get on the football team. If you don't sell the amount of coffee that you need to sell, Tom Carola is going to buy it from you. Anytime you need a banner for a baseball field or bagels for the next day wrestling match, or football, or track, he's always there to give. That's where we put our extra money, into the donation of our community, because our community takes care of us.”

“We don't take credit cards but we’ll take an IOU,” Mary Beth Weintraub, a waitress since opening day, said. “If you want to come back three hours later or the next day, it's not a problem. We've never had anybody not come back to pay their bill just because we don't take credit cards.”

Bagelicious is located at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta, GA. It’s open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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