Insurance with a side of bagels

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Danny Hughes has proposed opening a bagel shop in Suite B of his Hughes Agency insurance office on South Church Street.

Smithfield’s Planning Commission has given the idea their blessing, voting unanimously on June 14 to recommend approval for Hughes’ requested special use permit. Smithfield’s Town Council is slated to hold a public hearing on the matter at its July 5 meeting.

According to Hughes’ application, the bagels would arrive daily from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, eliminating the need for a commercial kitchen. The business, which Hughes proposes to name the “Smithfield Bagel Company,” would also sell coffee, water and soda — all as takeout with no dine-in seating.

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It would operate from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and employ one full-time manager and two part-time employees.

The roughly 641-square-foot suite, accessible from Grimes Street, is currently occupied by a tenant — CBX Modular Homes. Hughes, speaking to The Smithfield Times, confirmed CBX was still actively renting the space. The bagel shop was just an “idea” at the moment, he said.

“While the Smithfield Bagel Company wouldn’t be considered a traditional ‘restaurant’, it does fill a huge void in offering another choice for people who don’t have time or don’t want to dine in but would rather have something they can take home or take to work other than fast food,” Hughes’ letter to Town Planner Mark Kluck states.

Hughes is proposing no structural changes and only minimal changes to the interior, including the addition of a non-commercial-grade refrigerator, toaster, bagel slicer and coffee maker. He is, however, proposing to add six parking spaces, to include the required handicap parking, via a gravel expansion of the existing parking lot.