City Cast

Crime Writer Tod Goldberg on The Bagel Café

Scott Dickensheets
Scott Dickensheets
Posted on October 12
Photo of a bagel.

All the world loves a good bagel, and comes to this "free zone" to get one. (Claudia Totir/Getty)

Novelist Tod Goldberg tells us why this classic Vegas eatery shows up in his crime fiction:

“I love Bagel Café, and every time I go to Vegas I eat there. I always get the same breakfast: ham and eggs, diced and scrambled together. I either get the corned beef or the chicken salad for lunch. Every. Single. Time. Anyway, the thing about using the Bagel Café in my crime novels is that it could be a place where this stuff happens, because it's a free zone. You see every part of society in the Bagel Café. Go there on a Saturday afternoon. It's mobbed, and there are gangsters, there are Jews, there are Latinos, there are Japanese tourists. But it's orderly, and it's controlled because everyone wants the same thing. They want the same goddamn standard of excellent food. And they're not gonna cause a problem there. There are only a few places in the world that are safe zones. There's the Bagel Café. There's In-N-Out — the gangsters eat there, they don't want it to close. They're not gonna tag it up. They're not gonna rob it. They want that In-N-Out burger. And Target, 'cause everyone needs Target.”

Goldberg’s “Gangsters Don’t Die,” the conclusion of his Vegas-set “Gangsterland” trilogy, is now out. He’ll also appear at the Las Vegas Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 21.

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