SPoT! Norwood -- New England Dining
A Look at the New SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
Article, photos by Eric Hurwitz
created for VisitingNewEngland.com on 10/18/2021. Find us on Twitter: @newenglandinfo
Meet the new SPoT!, not exactly the same
as the old SPoT!.
Yes, happily, SPoT! owner Perry Makarios still runs one of the most
unusual, but wonderful informal food destinations in suburban Boston: a
bagel place, sandwich stop, and retro candy and soda pop shop under one
roof where crowds frequently line up outside the door.
The difference is, however, that Makarios has moved from one of the
smaller bagel storefronts in the Boston area to the largest.
For many years, SPoT! took a small convenience store setting in
downtown Norwood and
somehow managed to bake and sell up to 2,000 bagels a day, create
traditional and innovative sandwiches on bagels, offer more than 100
soda drinks, and showcase hard-to-find candies typically found in rural
Now, SPoT! has become more than just a spot on the map as evidenced
immediately upon approaching the new address...
Exterior of SPoT!
Walking into SPoT! and up the staircase further yields a scene that has
very little physical relation to the former storefront. It's like
stepping into the bagel version of Emerald City...
Entrance to SPoT!
The lines remain but the spaciousness and efficient nature of the space
make things much less cramped...
Crowds gather in a much more spacious area.
and the signature specialty in the form of bagels at the self-service bagel bins looks like something
out of a food magazine or having a place in a bagel hall of fame museum
if there ever was one...
The land of bagels.
The dining area also lends a far more spacious space than its
predecessor and much more shiny and new looking...
Of course, the old-time theme and products stay intact at the new SPoT!
but with a look that stands out more due to showcasing the decor and
products in a larger building. As an example, let's start with this
delightfully nostalgic wall...
and then go to a mountain of retro soft drinks..
Old time soda drinks.
The snack sections also abounds with products from the past like the
Bugles, a snack from yesteryear.
The old-fashioned peanut butter machine reveals the country store side
Old-fashioned peanut and almond butters machines.
course, the Richie's Italian Ices that were quite popular at the old
store and remain that way at the new one...
Richie's Italian Ice.
What’s more, the coffee selections are a big hit with the customers,
too, including hot coffee, iced coffee, iced cafe mocha and a Rhode
Island favorite, coffee milk!
The Mastermind Behind SPoT!
Makarios, who grew up in the family pizza business,
College in Wellesley and once owned a chain of local bagel shops, has
clearly applied his food industry background and business education to
arrive at SPoT!, his dream business that around 15 years ago. Makarios
loves his job so much that he has no idea how many hours he works each
“Asking me how many hours I work a week is like asking a parent how
many hours a week do they take care of their kids,” said Makarios. “You
do what you need to do and don’t count the hours. If you enjoy working
at what you do, it’s more like a hobby. I love what I do for a living."
That love takes on many appealing food offerings. For starters, SPoT!
sells 16 varieties of bagels, including plain, sesame seed, poppy seed,
cinnamon raisin and marble. With a large kitchen, Makarios takes
ambitious steps to create the perfect bagel through a 20-hour process
that includes proofing (making sure the yeast is active enough before
cooking), an exact fermentation process and using high quality
ingredients like premium gluten flour that is milled locally, and all
natural cane and brown sugars.
Perfectly made bagels!
“Most mass produced bagels take only a few hours to make,” said
Makarios, who, after attending Babson College, learned the bagel trade
by working at a well-known New York City bagel shop. “Here, we make
them with love. The detail is very important. It’s how you make them,
mix them, cook them and so on. We do it right here.”
Makarios added that he has a commitment to keeping bagel prices low
despite the long hours put in to create this popular, ring-shaped bread
“I felt like some places were raising prices like crazy,” said
Makarios, a Dedham resident and Dover-Sherborn Regional High School
graduate. “A few in Boston and Cambridge have charged 20 dollars for a
In addition to
bagels, SPoT! makes its own cream cheese, peanut butter, orange juice,
and chicken and tuna salads on a daily basis. They also make the most delicious whoopie pies daily...
Maple whoopie pie.
While the familiar egg and bacon, and egg, bacon and cheese sandwiches
remain best-sellers, the unfamiliar offerings have also become
immensely popular. “The Beast” is comprised of egg, bacon, pork roll and
cheese with maple syrup on a bagel.
The Beast breakfast sandwich.
Another favorite: The “SPoT! Dog.” This one-of-a-kind dish consists of an all-beef grilled Coney Island hot dog,
on a grilled sourdough bun, topped with peanut butter and cream cheese. lso, the Crispy Chicken sandwich features a mouthwatering hunk of fried chicken with lettuce on a bagel of your choice. Top it off with bacon, cheese, tomato, onions and mayo and it all adds up to a most satiating lunch!
Crispy Chicken sandwich.
Adding fun elements like an fully-functional old-fashioned Boylan soda
fountain machine, vintage candy and pop signs on the wall, and soda
boxes throughout the store help make SPoT!’s appeal even that much
SPoT! received a big lift a few years back when the local Phantom
Gourmet television show featured the Norwood business in a five minute
segment. After that feature aired, SPoT! soon found customers coming in
from New Hampshire and Maine when visiting in the Norwood area,
according to Makarios.
SPoT!’s business success clearly stems from Makarios’ personal career
growth, overcoming challenges along the way, and relentless
determination. Surviving a bad economy, a no carbs trend fueled by the
Atkins Diet, and not completing his Babson degree (“Many entrepreneurs
never finished college,” he said) has driven Makarios to do even
better. With only a short break from the food industry field to work as
a helicopter pilot, SPoT! has taken flight after years of perseverance.
Several years ago, Makarios said had visions of expanding the size of
business given the crowds, limited seating space and a wholesale
business called Bagels by Perry that sells to local restaurants,
colleges and country clubs. Makarios also said would never take SPoT!
out of Norwood.
“I will stay in Norwood,” said Makarios, back in 2015. “I wouldn’t
trade that for
anything else in the world. The town has great people. I have been in
other towns and nothing compares to Norwood -- the residents, the
people that work for the town. They are all so supportive. I love
Makarios was good to his word by staying in Norwood and expanding the
size of his business. He basically took his quest to live the American
Dream to a whole new level by opening this beautiful new storefront.
Be sure not to miss this spectacular, one-of-a-kind business if in the
area or beyond!
SPoT! is located at 20 Broadway St.,
Norwood. Tel. (781) 255-7755.
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays.
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Photo of Norwood taken by Eric
Hurwitz, editor and publisher of VisitingNewEngland.com.
Next story: A look at the new Cedar House Restaurant in Walpole, Mass.
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