Bagel Cafe Opens in the Square

56 JFK Street
Decorated with furniture the founders built by hand, Black Sheep Bagel Cafe opened in the Square last weekend.

The mom and pop breakfast and lunch cafe, located on 56 John F. Kennedy St., offers 18 bagel varieties, a number of sandwiches and drinks, and a full espresso bar.

Co-founder Manny Ramirez said that he was surprised at the influx of customers during the establishment’s first few days.

“We’ve been busier than we thought we’d be in the beginning,” Ramirez said. “We knew we’d get there eventually, but it happened so fast—we’re wholly on board, and we’re really excited about it.”

Co-founder Shoshanah Garber said Black Sheep Bagel Cafe is offering a student discount, as well as a Harvard Square employees discount.


“Part of our mission is to support our local business community and all of our neighbors, and really be a neighborhood go-to spot,” Garber said.

Garber and Ramirez came up with the idea for a cafe six months ago, after they perceived a lack of options for people who wanted to get bagels in the Square.

After finding a storefront they liked, Garber and Ramirez began painting the walls, constructing tables, and laying out the patio area.

Ramirez said they had envisioned a cafe with a “modern, industrial” design and a “cozy” ambiance, noting the pillows on some of the seats and the plants on a shelf on the wall.

Garber said that remodeling the storefront by hand was “very important” to their vision for Black Sheep Bagels.

“We wanted to be totally unique,” Garber said. “You’re not going to see any other restaurants look like this.”

Ramirez said that another one of the unique aspects of Black Sheep Bagel Cafe was its large menu, noting that other cafes often only offer a limited selection of bagels.

Garber said that they hope the establishment’s large menu will encourage people to stay to eat after they receive their food.

“We don’t want to have people make multiple stops,” Garber said. “We want people to be able to get in here, get their bagel and coffee—anything that they would need—and be able to stay and hang out and enjoy the space, as opposed to grabbing a bagel and going.”

—Staff writer Truelian Lee can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @truelian_lee.