Still churning out bagels and lox seven decades later
Published Monday, August 1, 2011 10:00PM EDT
Early retirement must seem like a completely foreign concept to Hymie Sckolnick.
The owner of Beauty's restaurant on the corner of Mont-Royal and St-Urbain celebrated his 90th birthday Monday, and he's working just as hard now as he did when he and his wife Freda opened the iconic breakfast spot nearly 70 years ago in 1942.
"I used to work 10 days a week, but I cut down," Sckolnick said while taking a rare breather at work Monday. "I only work seven now, 10 days is a little too much. I'm semi-retired."
Getting Sckolnick to sit still for a few minutes to answer some questions was no small feat for CTV Montreal's Rob Lurie as the host kept scurrying around his restaurant to make sure his clients were properly looked after.
And those clients who have kept coming back decade after decade definitely notice the extra attention they get from the owner.
"Very charming, very welcoming and no matter what you want he always gets it for you," one customer said.
The signature item at Beauty's, right from the very start, has been the bagel, cream cheese and lox sandwich.
"We have cream cheese that's made special for us, it's our own recipe, it's very creamy but not heavy," Sckolnick explained. "We put in some smoked salmon, some tomato and some onion, which makes a beautiful sandwich."
The sandwich sold for 65 cents at first but now goes for $10, which is a clear reflection of just how long Sckolnick has been in business.
And nearly 70 years after he began, he's showing no signs of slowing down.