Last month, I mentioned that someone was working to open a new restaurant on Seventh Street between Vine and Walnut. Gilpin's Bagel and Deli is now open for business; they opened a few days ago. I believe this is what's called their "soft opening," as they have some Grand Opening festivities planned in the future.
I stopped in today for lunch, and wound up with a bagel sandwich (turkey, cheddar, and a garlic-herb spread on a sesame bagel) and a cup of soup. The staff was friendly and the food was good. I chatted with the folks behind the counter as I waited for my sandwich, and learned a little bit.
Giplin's steams its sandwiches. The machine on which this happens looks like a panini machine, only with steam billowing out from time to time. The result is quite good. The place is loosely modeled on a similar bagel shop in Oxford. (Maybe Griff can compare the two for you sometime--the only place I ever visit in Oxford is Area I Court.) But apparently, there are significant menu changes from the Oxford restaurant, and there's no affiliation between the two.
Gilpin's will be open for pretty long hours, planning breakfast, lunch, and after-hours service. In a few weeks, they'll have finished up an area upstairs where you can enjoy your meal while watching a game on TV. And they also have a catering service available. It all seems quite ambitious, but the folks running Gilpin's seem young and eager--aren't they supposed to be ambitious?
The menu seemed a little cumbersome at first. I grimaced a little when I was told that ordering a non-vegetarian sandwich is a "simple six-step" process, but it turns out that all of those "steps" merely involve choosing your bagel, your meat, your cheese, your spread, your cream cheese, and your veggies. They were very generous with the amount of turkey on the bagel. And the soup (chicken with rice) hit the spot. (Although given the size of the sandwich, it all would've been too much for lunch had I not waited until after 2:00 to eat.)
Anyhow.....the concept is cute, the staff is friendly and energetic, and the food is good enough for a return visit, especially at Gilpin's quite reasonable prices. So help stimulate the economy and go check it out!!!