The Wait is Over: The "Schmear" is Here!

Cleveland Bagel Café in Kent Opens In Former Brady's Café Space

The City of Kent’s newest business, the Cleveland Bagel Café has just finished the first week of what it called its “cold opening.” 

The new business, housed in the historic building located across from campus at the corner of Lincoln and Main Street, opened on a temporary schedule of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on September 6. The café's regular hours, beginning September 12, will be 7 a.m. - 9 p.m., seven days a week. 

Neon sign in window.

Cleveland Bagel Café’s group of owners includes two Kent State alumni, Kent State professor Evan Bailey BS ‘03, MS ‘09, and businessman Mike Beder BGS ‘00. Beder’s relationship with The Cleveland Bagel Company began when he used them as a supplier to his Tree City Café (a business he sold in 2021). The Cleveland Bagel Company, founded in 2013, has two Cleveland-area locations and is dedicated to “making a great Cleveland-style bagel,” that’s described as “old-world style” and “not too dough-y, not too sweet.” 

Selection of different bagels in display case.
The menu features signature bagel sandwiches including “breakfast-y” selections and others that are more like lunchtime favorites. Bagel selections range from plain to rosemary with sea salt to “everything” seasoning. “Schmears” include plain cream cheese, brie honey walnut, cheddar chive, and chorizo chipotle. A variety of toppings are available. 

The brie honey walnut schmear is a favorite of Hannah Justice, a senior speech pathology major from Kent and a return customer to Cleveland Bagel Café. She describes herself as a “coffee and bagel fanatic.” “Something new in Kent is great," Justice said. "I liked the old Starbucks, but this made it better because it brought a variety of bagels and a new homework/study place. And the ‘schmears.’ We don’t have something like this around, so having the different schmears and bagel types makes it a better spot for me personally.” 

Justice’s friend, Alaina Cooper, a senior speech pathology major from Pittsburgh, is a first-time visitor to the café. She was enjoying a bagel and a coffee. She said, "I'm a big coffee fan and these taste different than Dunkin,’ Starbucks, Tree City or anything else we have in Kent."  

Three students at a table enjoying coffee and bagels

The 100-year-old building the café occupies at 436 E. Main Street is nearly as old as Kent State and has always been a popular destination for its students. First, as the Robin Hood Tea Room in the 1920s and 1930s, then as the Captain Brady Restaurant from the 1940s to 1990, Brady’s Café in the 1990s to 2003, and most recently, Starbucks, which closed in 2020 when they moved to another location on Main Street.  

Kent State's Board of Trustees approved the university's purchase of the building in 2016. 

Robin Hood Tea Room

 Cleveland Bagel Café maintains an active page on Facebook and a website, that includes its menu, at


POSTED: Friday, September 9, 2022 03:00 PM
UPDATED: Friday, July 12, 2024 04:16 AM
Phil B. Soencksen