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SPoT! Norwood -- New England Dining

A Look at the New SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.

Article, photos by Eric Hurwitz created for 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 general stores.

Now, SPoT! has become more than just a spot on the map as evidenced immediately upon approaching the new address...

The new sPot! Bagels building in Norwood, Mass.
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...

Entering the new SPoT! Bagels in Norwood, Mass.
Entrance to SPoT!

The lines remain but the spaciousness and efficient nature of the space make things much less cramped...

Waiting line at the new SPoT! Bagels in Norwood, Mass.
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...

Bagels from SPoT! in Norwood, Massachusetts
The land of bagels.

The dining area also lends a far more spacious space than its predecessor and much more shiny and new looking...

Dining area at SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
Dining area.

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...

Nostalgic wall at SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
Nostalgic wall.

and then go to a mountain of retro soft drinks..
Old time soft drinks at SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
Old time soda drinks.

The snack sections also abounds with products from the past like the legendary Bugles...

Nostalgic snacks at SPoT! in Norwood,Mass.
Bugles, a snack from yesteryear.

The old-fashioned peanut butter machine reveals the country store side of SPoT!...

Old fashioned peanut butter machine at SPoT! bagels in Norwood, Mass.
Old-fashioned peanut and almond butters machines.

And of course, the Richie's Italian Ices that were quite popular at the old store and remain that way at the new one...

Italian ice section at SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
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!

Perry Makarios, owner of SPoT! Bagels in Norwood, MA.Makarios, who grew up in the family pizza business, attended Babson 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 week.

“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.

Bagel bins at SPoT! in Norwood, Massachusetts
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 product.

“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 dozen bagels!”

In addition to fresh 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...

Whoopie pies from SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
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 from SPoT! in Norwood, Mass.
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 from SPoT! in Norwood, MA.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 greater.

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 his 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 Norwood.”

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. Closed Mondays.

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Photo of Norwood taken by Eric Hurwitz, editor and publisher of

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