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Hopatcong Family Brings Bagel Café to Neighborhood

Uncle Sam's Bagel Café offers a variety of homemade American meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner off Hopatchung Road.

For months the building across the street from Borough Hall in the heart of Hopatcong stood vacant after several restaurants shut down the past few years.

But now a Hopatcong family is looking to add some excitement to that 30 Hopatchung Road spot, after bringing a new type of restaurant to town.

Uncle Sam's Bagel Café, which features a variety of homemade American food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, had its grand opening on Sunday.

Owners Sam and Stacy Ibrahim, and their two kids Salah, 7, and Samara, 6, are excited for residents to experience their new café, and are hoping to provide the next community hang out inside the borough's main business center.

"I look forward to our place being that family place that everyone feels comfortable at," Stacy Ibrahim said, "where everybody knows your name."

The Ibrahims, who previously owned a bagel deli in Dover called Metro Deli, saw a need for a nice bagel place in the borough.

Stacy Ibrahim said the idea first came to mind in June, when she would drive her kids to Hudson Maxim School, and noticed there wasn't a place nearby that offered a quality bagel. 

"I thought a bagel place would be really good here, but I didn't see anything vacant."

Then she noticed the empty building over the summer, which was previously Thyme Out Grill before it closed in January, and before that Parkside Grill, which closed in November 2010 after a decade-long run.

She and her husband were looking to open a new bagel place because their Dover location was closing, and this location interested them because of the community appeal.

"I wanted to do something that was within the community, that maybe we could eventually do things for the school, and with the township," she said.

With several months of planning, the Ibrahim's were able to turn the place into a full service restaurant, that includes a mix of a bagel deli and a lunch and dinner restaurant.

The breakfast items range from everything from pancakes, french toast, omeletes, and taylor, ham and cheese sandwiches.

For lunch, the menu offers a number of Uncle Sam's Sammi's with specialty sandwiches and wraps, where customers can either build their own or get them already made. Hot Sammi's, including french dip, classic or turkey reuben, and the monte cristo are also offered.

Burgers, cheesesteaks and kebabs are also available for lunch and dinner, and are reasonably priced at under $7.

Stacy Ibrahim said all of the items are homemade, even the bagels, which her husband rolls by hand.

"I'm really excited for the people to get to experience my husband's cooking, and his talent for making bagels," Stacy Ibrahim said.

The restaurant's name was chosen by the Ibrahim's son, Salah, who combined his interest in patriotism and idea to name the business after his father.

Some of the menu sections reflect the American theme, including the Star Spangled Breakfast, which offers three different breakfast combos to choose from, and the Freedom Flyer, which includes french fry sides.

Within the first week, Stacy Ibrahim said she and her family have already gotten positive feedback and are looking forward to breaking into the community. She said they're offering a free coffee to everyone who "Likes" their Facebook page.

"We just want it to be known as really good food, really great prices, and community-oriented," she said.

Uncle Sam's December 19, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Thank you everyone for such wonderful comments. Chef Johnny, we would LOVE to get Triple D to come. So glad you enjoyed the HF. It is so nice to read these things and we strive to provide Hopatcong with a comfortable place to meet that offers great food and prices. Tell us what you would like to see on the menu. Your feedback is always appreciated. As for the menu, we will get one up as soon as possible. Thanks for the tip BeachBum! Also, come on out this Saturday for our official ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor.
Uncle Sam's December 19, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Thank you everyone for such wonderful comments. Chef Johnny, we would LOVE to get Triple D to come. So glad you enjoyed the HF. It is so nice to read these things and we strive to provide Hopatcong with a comfortable place to meet that offers great food and prices. Tell us what you would like to see on the menu. Your feedback is always appreciated. As for the menu, we will get one up as soon as possible. Thanks for the tip BeachBum! Also, come on out this Saturday for our official ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor.
David December 22, 2012 at 01:09 PM
bagels in the hill is the best next to pathmark I dont like the food by uncle sam
wilma johnson January 08, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Sam is a fraud, he did not mention his chef, he took all the credit when the town knows who is that young man who helped us out in the shelter during Sandy disaster, I haven't seen the chef in since before Christmas and to be honest food quality is not the same with out his spices, with out his touch, all this town asks for is for Sam to be honest and not take glory of what he is not doing, give credit to who deserved it, if you are the one to cook you say you're the chef, if you make the bagels, you are the bagel man, but Sam you are the owner and the town wants to see that happy young man in that kitchen serving delicious variety of food like when you opened, please get him back and give him the recognition he deserves
Katherine January 11, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Well, I disagree with you Wilma Johnson!! I think that food's quality, presentation and environment is better now than when that young guy was. I have been there with my family in several occasions, every time the place was full, the chef you are claiming was so good was rude and dramatic with his coworkers, which did not look good for the business. Now, that he is not there anymore, food tastes much better, and everyone there is always friendly, polite and happier!!!! I love bagels, and Uncle Sam's has the best on town!!! My family and I love eating at Uncle Sam's!!!

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