Jesse Driscoll said he remembers when Uncle Carmine (or Carmine Barbaro to the rest of us) opened the Bagel Dock Café in Calabash more than a decade ago and then the Bagel Dock Express at 4501 N. Main St. in Shallotte in 2016.
Barbaro and other owners have since decided to sell those businesses, but Driscoll recognized the opportunity and bought the Express location in April 2021 with wife Nazira.
Now, a little more than a year later, they’ve recently added a second location at 5021 Southport Crossing Way in Southport near Lowes Foods. He also said they are about six months away from another location.
“My wife and I say that we can stop at 50,” he joked.
But he is serious about the Bagel Dock Express expansion to Leland, Wilmington and other coastal communities.
“We think it’s a strong concept and it’s the type of thing that would work in a lot of beach communities,” he said.
At each restaurant, bagels are made fresh daily. A menu with breakfast sandwiches and wraps and a wide variety of specialty lunch sandwiches are also popular. The Chicken Cutlet Classic, for example, is made with fried-to-order chicken, melted mozzarella cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
But for those new to Bagel Dock Express, Driscoll suggests starting simple – with a bagel toasted with butter.
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“Then you can really see how good the bagels are,” he said.
After that, get a bagel topped with steak and cheese, for example. Or the most popular choice for Northern transplants, a bagel with Taylor Ham pork roll.
Allison Ballard is the food and dining reporter at the StarNews. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Bagel Dock Express: location in Southport Crossing Way in Southport