The owner of Greg’s Bagels in Belvedere Square says he plans to reopen, and dismissed the recent shutting down by the city’s health department as “a momentary closing to get some things squared away.”
Thomas Hearn, who purchased the much-loved bagel shop from founder Greg Novik in December 2016, wrote in an email to The Sun that “the plans with the store are to keep on keeping on.” He said that he will be back at the store “working full time in the next couple weeks.”
Before Greg’s is allowed to reopen, the health department violations will have to be corrected and a conference will need to be held between health department officials and Hearn, or a properly designated representative. As of late Friday afternoon, no one from Greg’s had been in touch with the health department, spokeswoman Mona Rock said.
Greg’s was shut down by the health department Dec. 5, after an inspection found multiple violations. They included food items not being stored or displayed under proper conditions, frozen food being thawed in hot standing water, knives being kept in standing water, mice droppings on shelves, a refrigerator not maintaining proper temperature and employees not washing their hands properly, according to a copy of the report filed by an inspector. The report also noted that Greg’s food license had expired last April 27.
As of Friday, there had been little, if any, activity at the store since it closed. Workers at other Belvedere Square businesses said they hadn’t seen anyone there, and the only sign of life was a piece of paper taped to the inside of the front door, with an unsigned note reading, “We will see everyone again shortly!!!”
In his email, Hearn wrote that he “had been out of town for a while doing some traveling.” His plans call for adding “some new products to the store, but beyond that everything is the same and will remain the same. I’m excited to be back and I am planning on remaining In Baltimore and working non stop at Greg’s.”
Hearn, who was only 22 when he purchased the eatery, suggested problems with the store could be traced back to the inexperience of the people working there.
“The store is composed of a lot of youth whom are learning and dealing with a lot beyond just bagels,” he wrote. “And while youth is prone to make mistakes it is also prone to learn fast and grow fast.”
Attempts to reach Hearn for elaboration were unsuccessful.
Greg’s Bagels has been a staple of Belvedere Square for more than 30 years. Hearn, a former employee of the store, took over its operation after original owner Novik closed it in August 2016. Novik died in October 2017 of pancreatic cancer.