‘Dago Bagel’ to Open in North Beach. No Big Deal.
The Fremont born darling of San Francisco pizza is now opening a bakery and bagel shop in North Beach. But you might not want to say the name out loud, because you’ll sound like a bigot from the 1920s.
‘Dago Bagel’ is the new North Beach bagel brand, started by Tony Gemignani of the famous Tony’s Pizza. Tony told Elena Kadvany, the Chronicle food writer this week that he chose the name it an ethnic slur in defiance, after a recent altercation outside one of his North Beach restaurants.
He alleged a man had been harassing him about the restaurant’s operations and yelled the slur at him. He filed a police report, then went back into the kitchen and decided to reclaim the derogatory term. “It’s important to create that awareness, for people to learn and know what that word means and to not to use it in a certain way,” Gemignani said.
Their bagels are said to be naturally leavened and, ‘New York-style’, with only a hint of racism baked in. I haven’t really gotten into the whole bagel fad in SF, I don’t really get it (full disclosure). But Tony’s Pizza is delicious, they do something like 6 different types of crust over there and they’re really good ( I’ve eaten them all).
The ‘Toscano Brothers’ bakery with ‘Dago Bagel’ opens May 1 at 728 Vallejo St., between Stockton and Powell streets, specializing in sour dough and NY style bagels. They’re opening right by Hawaii West, an amazing Chinatown tiki dive bar. There’s no website yet, it looks like a soft opening with a ‘word of mouth’ appeal, as in, “Hey, have you checked out that new Dago place yet?”