Owners expect an early spring opening

New bagel store slated for old Spicy’s building


Shirley resident and owner of Freshy Fresh Bagels, Will Backhaus, and his son Joshua, 22, a William Floyd High School graduate, will open their second location at the former Spicy’s chicken spot, located at 501 Station Road, just north of the four corners on Montauk Highway in North Bellport.

Will, a 1986 William Floyd graduate, also owns At the Top Tree Services, and has been in the tree business for over 20 years. His father, he said, opened one of the first bagel stores in Suffolk County, in Bohemia, in 1977.

“I have been in this business a very long time,” he said, explaining that he and his wife decided to reopen a bagel store in their hometown when the old Shirley Drug store closed and they took the Montauk Highway space over.

His wife, Jessica, formerly of Speonk, and younger son, Justin, also a William Floyd grad, have been running the Shirley Freshy Fresh Bagel store. Though this new location will be their second, Joshua will be running it as his own, with plans to find a name—to be announced—that fits the community.

As for the space on Station Road, Will said that he has been wanting a space near that location his whole life—a dream he wasn’t sure would ever become a reality. Joshua agrees, and is super excited to open up.

“It’s been a long time coming… I have been just super ambitious about this for a long time,” Joshua said of his new endeavor, leaning on his experience from the first location.

The new shop will be open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day. Bagels will be baked fresh and hot daily, with the Backhaus-boiled-and-baked family recipe. There will be no seating, but there will be a coffee station, soda/juice case, and a case with cream cheese, salads, and more. They will also have all the traditional bagel store offerings, including egg sandwiches, pancakes, and French toast.

But the question everyone will be asking—is there any chance at offering the original Spicy’s chicken? They tried, Will said, noting that the owner doesn’t seem ready to sell and has the recipe on lock.

But, Joshua said, he does plan to offer “something extra” during his later hours.

The building has been up for sale for several years; the Backhaus family signed contracts about two years ago. Interior renovations began last year and are just about complete, with an opening date planned for some time in early spring.

Interior alterations for the building were approved by the town, and after the store opens, Will said, they plan to apply for exterior permits to clean up the façade as well as redo the parking lot.

“The owners gave me a look inside, and it looks beautiful,” said Brookhaven Town supervisor Daniel J. Panico, also noting they are locals from Shirley.

Back in 2018, state tax authorities shut down the popular barbecue joint. At that time, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance seized the restaurant, along with the second location in Riverhead, for outstanding tax warrants. Online tax documents indicated that a tax lien was filed against Spicy’s owner Rick Stoner in 2018 for $229,143.86. The payment was never satisfied and the location remained closed.

The town, according to Panico, has been revitalizing and updating the immediate area, including the neighboring gas station as well as the Dunkin’. Last month, the town, in partnership with Suffolk County, also demolished a blighted home located adjacent to the Spicy’s building at 509 Station Road.

“We are going to achieve the revitalization that the residents of Bellport need and deserve, and with every action like this, we get a step closer,” added councilman Michael Loguercio Jr.


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