New Kings Road shop The Sleeper Store fills the coast’s bagel-shaped void

By Rachel Karasik

Hastings is a treasure trove of culinary choice these days. Everywhere you look there are delicious dining options whether you are hankering for bibimbap, gyros, curried goat, shawarma, wood fired pizza, tacos, every preparation of seafood, or a classic Sunday roast. However, one item has continued to be elusive, not just in Hastings and St Leonards, but across much of the south coast — bagels. Yes, you might find the odd ring of dough on a cafe menu or two, but you’d be hard pressed to find a dedicated bagel shop with all the fillings before you hit Brighton to the west, or cross over the M25 to the north. We have been living in a bagel desert, but The Sleeper Store is here to change all that. 

CREDIT: Sleeper Store

Owners Nick and Jane are excited to bring their love of bagels to St Leonards, offering small batch, hand rolled bagels filled with the classics like salt beef “with wally (pickle) and mustard” and smoked salmon and cream cheese, as well as vegan options and a chocolate-filled bagel dough ball dubbed a “bagel bomb.” Their recipe is adapted from the iconic Brick Lane Beigel Bake, who made their recipe public for the first-time during lockdown. Jane says they plan to experiment with developing a gluten free bagel in the future. 

The Sleeper Store are working with local suppliers wherever possible, with salt beef from Jez (formerly of Queens Road Deli), smoked salmon from Rock-a-Nore Fisheries, filter coffee from Bean Smitten coffee roasters in Flimwell, and a plan to incorporate more local producers into rotating specials. 

Nick and Jane are both illustrated book designers by trade, and have worked on many cookbooks over the years, but this is their first venture into hospitality. They moved into the shop right before the first lockdown last year and decided to take their time refurbishing the space and testing their recipes until they felt ready to open their doors to the public. That time has finally come, and it won’t be long before you’ll be able to grab a bagel on your way to the station or down to the beach. 

The Sleeper Store will also be sharing their space with a resident upholsterer, whose window displays you may have noticed over lockdown. They plan to open on the 17th September with limited hours before easing into their full opening hours, so be sure to check their Instagram @thesleeperstore for the latest updates and opening times to get your bagel fix, I know I’ll be one of the first in line. 

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