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David Lissner
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Happy Birthday, The Bagel

The original Bagel Restaurant.

The original Bagel Restaurant opened at Kedzie and Lawrence in 1950.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, The Bagel Restaurant & Deli in Lakeview and Skokie invites deli lovers to do their “wurst” in its “DELI-icious Sandwich Contest.” Submit your favorite sandwich recipe for a chance at appearing on The Bagel’s menu and a $250 restaurant gift card. The deadline is Sept. 30. Contest entry form (pdf).

The original, 34-seat kosher-style deli opened on the corner of Kedzie and Lawrence in 1950, taking over the space from a Jewish baker, The Bagel Bakery. The founders, immigrant survivors of the Holocaust, couldn’t afford a new sign, so they named their business The Bagel Restaurant to use the one already there.

Bagel owner Danny Wolf with Toby Levin, 90. The late Levin waited tables at The Bagel for 55 years.

Bagel owner Danny Wolf with Toby Levin, 90. The late Levin waited tables at The Bagel for 55 years.

Then, as now, the deli served Jewish specialties like such as corned beef, kreplach and potato pancakes. Michael Golenzer and his nephew Danny Wolf, the family members who operate the two current locations, still use recipes their forebears brought from Europe for traditional foods such as as the kosher-style dill pickles made fresh each week. (Some of the richer recipes have been adjusted to suit today’s calorie-conscious diners.)

The Skokie location, opened in 1987, is the only independent operation amid the 150 chain shops and restaurants in Old Orchard Shopping Center. The Lakeview site dates to 1992.

In honor of their anniversary, both locations will for a limited time feature some retired menu items, including such Jewish classics a stuffed veal breast, pickled herring and cold beet borscht.