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Manhattan Bagel coming to Summit Square in Middletown


One bagel place is primed to replace another in Middletown after the township zoning hearing board Wednesday night unanimously approved variances requested for a Manhattan Bagel at the Summit Square Shopping Center, just off the Newtown Bypass.

Ross Gelman, who would be owner/operator of the establishment, said he hopes to complete an estimated $1 million renovation and move into the space formerly occupied by Einstein Bros. Bagels in time for a January opening. Township Zoning and Building Director Jim Ennis said the project will likely not have to go through the full land development process since it mostly involves an interior renovation and minimal outdoor improvements.

Variances granted Wednesday night will allow a two-lane drive-through and the removal of 14 parking spaces to allow for it. Gelman, attorney Julie Von Spreckelsen and Gelman's other representatives on the project said the drive-through will not cause traffic or parking problems at the center and will be vital to the new establishment's success.

Not having a drive-through was one of the main reasons Einstein Bros., which was hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, was forced to close, Gelman said.

"It didn't have a way for folks to pick up food quickly and leave," he noted.

The project will include stormwater management improvements, most likely a rain garden, to handle drainage in a section of the shopping center that currently has no stormwater management system. Manhattan Bagel will move into space in a building already occupied by three other tenants.

This will be Gelman's fifth Manhattan Bagel location. He is already owner/operator of stores in Richboro, Southampton, North Wales and Willow Grove.

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