An old-time Bexley favorite is coming back to town.

An old-time Bexley favorite is coming back to town.

After an absence of almost eight years, Bruegger's Bagels is set to open in early 2009 in the same building as Penn Station East Coast Subs on East Main Street, according to Bryan Savage, a vice president with Continental Realty in Columbus.

Savage said an official lease was signed last week by two of the owners, Roe Ritzler and Mike Paglia, who are both Cleveland-based lawyers with an interest in the restaurant business.

Savage said Bruegger's CEO Jim Greco even visited the Bexley site before the new owners signed the lease. Bruegger's Enterprises is based in Burlington, Vt.

"The Bexley demographics fit our profile very well - higher income, educated, professional," Greco said. "However, the vibrancy of the area in the vicinity of the site is what attracted us to this particular location, along with good visibility and access. Our first Columbus-area location in Stow has done very well and we're looking forward to opening in Bexley."

Bruegger's Bagels had a shop in Bexley on East Main Street at the current site of Bexley Pizza Plus. The restaurant closed in 2001, according to the Bexley building department.

Ritzler said he and Paglia hope to open the restaurant in the first few months of 2009 and hope to start some construction work on the building in the beginning of November.

He said they plan to add an outdoor eating area on the Cassingham Road side of the building.

Savage said they are also looking to add more windows on the east side of the building and construct a door to the patio.

Michael Contes, who has been involved with the Columbus restaurant market for many years, is the third partner in the new Bexley restaurant.

As the director of operations, he said he will be responsible for hiring staff and making sure the restaurant meets the owners' goals. He said he hopes to have a staff ready to go by mid-January.

Contes said he thinks Bexley will be a great place for the new shop.

"It's a great neighborhood, and it will be a great community hangout," he said.

The ultimate goal is to open more of the restaurants in central Ohio, Contes said.

He said they have plans for opening other Bruegger's Bagels in the future, but do not have sites selected.

Billy Wicks, who owns the building at 2500 E. Main St., said he is very excited to see the restaurant go in.

"Everybody I talk to about it seems to like Bruegger's," said Wicks. "I look forward to having them. It's a great new place."