East Lansing bagel shop innovates with menu, late shift

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Man cooks at flat top grill

A.J. Evans

Jared Andrews, at the new East Lansing GoodFellas Bagels, learned about their popularity from all the students who came to the store’s Lansing location.

In East Lansing, a new restaurant is doubling as a morning and late-night hotspot. GoodFellas Bagels Deli, a new restaurant on Albert Avenue in the same strip as the popular HopCat and El Azteco, is working to become one of the most accessible places in East Lansing. 

Following the opening of the first GoodFellas Bagels Deli in January of 2020, owner Adrian Joseph kept his brand-new business afloat through a time where businesses were shuttered, particularly in the food industry. After working through the pandemic, Joseph began to notice a growing trend. “At the location in Lansing, we started to notice a pretty large influx of MSU students that would come there on weekends, and throughout the week,” Joseph said.

To serve the steady increase of customers, Joseph found a location with more than twice the space of  his downtown Lansing location, adjacent to the same street where many college students spend their Friday and Saturday nights.  In East Lansing, the new GoodFellas is 2,500 square feet, compared to 700 square feet at the Lansing location. 

“So many of these kids were coming to Lansing … . We knew we were gonna expand, and we figured we might as well bring it to East Lansing where they’re already at,” Joseph said.

 Jared Andrews, manager of the GoodFellas in East Lansing, agreed. “We knew we had a younger crowd from the location in Lansing, so when this location in East Lansing fell in our hands, it was too perfect to pass up.”

GoodFellas brought several additions, most notably to the menu, and longer hours to complement East Lansing’s night scene. Food-wise, GoodFellas has added fried foods and finger-food to its menu, such as chicken tenders, fried pickles, sweet potato fries, and more. While the deli will maintain its standard hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m GoodFellas is also open from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m, Thursday through Saturday. 

The increase in hours and the additional food items certainly correlate with one another, creating an additional wave of customers for a specific time throughout the week, and ideal food choices to complement an unorthodox time in the day. Darron Shavers, a manager for the GoodFellas in downtown Lansing, felt that adding to the menu for East Lansing was an easy decision. “College kids kinda gravitate toward heavier fried foods naturally, so having that addition to our menu was a no-brainer out here,” Shavers said. 

Joseph said he now receives three trucks of food a week to supply both locations. Before opening in East Lansing, he received one truck a week. “This spot in East Lansing takes two trucks, and the Lansing location takes one,” Joseph said. On Saturday, Joseph said the GoodFellas in East Lansing went through almost 500 bagels. 

Goodfellas is located across the street from a local bar, The Riv, and down the street from every other bar in East Lansing. It is now the only late night food option within walking distance. 

Joseph has received positive feedback about GoodFellas’ close proximity. “The mayor of East Lansing [Ron Bacon], who I’ve known for a bit, told me we’re actually doing a service out here, because now we’re giving kids a chance to eat after they leave the bar.”

Lucas Seely, an MSU student and GoodFellas regular from the Lansing location, is certainly pleased with his favorite deli being so close now. “It was a brilliant idea to put this here,” Seely said. 

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