POST UPDATE: Proper Bagel general manager and co-owner Heather Speranza reached out with the following details regarding the new Belmont Blvd. bagel shop:
Proper Bagel will be a family owned & operated business alongside my parents and my husband. The concept will be similar to Way Beyond [Bagels] in Delray [Beach, Florida] (which we sold over a year ago and are no longer affiliated with). We will offer both an eatery for sit down and a market for take away. The decor will be very minimal: black, white, stainless (steel), iron and chic! We will be "properly" kettle boiling our bagels & bialys from scratch and making them the old school way (as we have for the past 35 years)! Smoked salmon will be flown in from Brooklyn and hand sliced to order. We will be serving Barista Parlor's roasted coffee alongside housemade pastries (NY black & white cookies, etc.), salads, bagel sandwiches and a full boozy brunch menu!! We are currently slated for opening at the end of September, and are excited to be in a new city with such a sense of community!
Back in April, The Nashville Business Journal reported that a new restaurant project called The Proper Bagel appeared to be planned for the property at 2011 Belmont Blvd. No other details were known at the time, other than that the name Marcella Speranza was associated with the permit. Since then, not much else has been revealed, other than the facts that the 'eatery/market' is now under construction, that it is indeed called Proper Bagel and that they have a website that is now (barely) live. But an online search for Marcella Speranza reveals some pretty strong clues about what could be headed for the Belmont area.
It appears that Marcella and her husband Carmine have a long history in the bagel business, having owned and operated bagel shops since at least the late 1980's. [UPDATE: Heather Speranza tells Eater that her parents opened their first store in 1977 on Long Island in Huntington called "Bagels Unlimited".] An entity called 'Let There Be Bagels, Inc.' was registered in New York in 1988 to Carmine Speranza, and a shop called Once-Upon-A-Bagel was opened in East Hampton, New York in 1996 by Mr. Speranza. Not too long after that it appears the couple moved to the West Palm Beach area of Florida, where they continued in the bagel business. Currently they are listed as the president and vice president of
Way Beyond Bagels, a Delray Beach deli and bagel shop. [UPDATE: Speranza tells Eater that Way Beyond Bagels was sold over a year ago and that they are no longer affiliated.] The menu for Way Beyond Bagels is extensive, offering nearly 30 types of kettle-boiled bagels, along with salads, sandwiches, wraps, baked goods and smoked fish. So could Proper Bagel be this, or a version of this, under a different name? Eater reached out via the Proper Bagel contact info, but had not heard back at the time of this posting. So be sure to send any and all tips this way, and check back for updates.