​​Meet Andrew Dana, owner of Call Your Mother Bagels. Since 2018 when the first Call Your Mother opened in Washington D.C.’s Park View neighborhood, Dana,  along with his wife and business co-owner Daniela Moreira, has transformed his love for authentic deli flavors into thriving neighborhood bagel eateries. Today, with 13 locations and a trolley in McLean —  soon to be a sit down deli — Call Your Mother Bagels has quickly become a local favorite for its delicious bagels and creative sandwiches.  



Q. How did you get into the bagel business?


My wife and I first opened a pizza restaurant in 2016 called Timber Pizza Co., which we still own. So that was our first business and it went really well. After about two years, we were just ready for the next challenge. We took a step back and thought about what we wanted to do next. 

It was bagels for a couple of reasons. My dad growing up used to always say he wished he had opened a Jewish deli [so] I sort of had his dream baked into me. Like every weekend, he would bring bagels home. And so I really wanted to do something around the bagel, and the Jewish deli. I brought the idea to my wife, who’s from Argentina and had never even had a bagel. And she loved the idea of having to do all this research. So all those things combined led us to decide to do bagels. The first one was the one in Park View on Georgia Avenue in D.C. which opened in October of 2018. 





Q. How many locations do you have currently? 


We have 13 total delis. 10 are in the DMV, and then there are three are in Denver, Colorado. I was born and raised in D.C., and I still live in D.C. There was no real science behind placing three in Denver. We checked out a couple of different cities. When we were touring Denver, we just loved the feel of it. A lot of it reminded me of D.C. … and then we found some cool real estate. We saw that there wasn’t a lot of bagel competition and they needed something new. So it checked a lot of the boxes and we said let’s do it!



Q. What is the inspiration behind the name “Call Your Mother”?


We wanted the brand to be bright, colorful, and fun. We didn’t want it to have the name of every… Jewish deli or bagel shop ever. So we were trying to think of something Jewish grandmothers would have yelled at us. People would yell at you saying “You should eat something” or “Put some meat on your bones”. And then my friend’s sister yelled out, “Call Your Mother”. And I thought, oh my gosh that’s it.




Q. Why did you choose to locate  in McLean?

We’re always looking for places where there’s not a lot of bagel action. We got a lot of interest from McLean, many people messaged us on Instagram [and] email. My college roommate is actually from McLean. He’s always been telling me [to] put one in McLean. So I had my college roommate in my ear and… enough people sending us messages on Instagram so we took a serious look at this. Our mini deli has been doing well in McLean, but we will have an actual deli soon. We hope to get our building permits really soon. We’re targeting sort of a late spring [or] early summer opening. 


Q. Which bagel sandwiches are the most popular?


Our most popular  are the same in every store. The Bacon Sun City [local bacon, pastrami or Impossible sausage,bodega-style eggs, American & cheddar
cheeses, spicy honey, on Everything] is our number one seller by far and then behind is the Thunderbird [maple chicken sausage, bodega-style eggs,
American & cheddar cheeses, spicy honey, on Maple Salt & Pepper] and then the Royal Palm [plain cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato,
cucumber, red onion, capers, on Everything]. Those are the top three always.


Q. Will there be more variety when the McLean deli opens?


The bagels change every quarter so there will be more stuff there. We’ll be able to do more hot drinks, coffee, and espresso. And then we’ll also be able to do catering —  so a more expanded menu and choices to choose from.


Q. What plans do you have in the future for Call Your Mother?


After McLean, we’re opening one in Vienna. We are actively looking for a new home for the [trolley] in McLean, so if anybody is reading this, and has a good location, let us know. We’ll sort of keep our ears to the streets and see what the streets are asking for.

Call Your Mother Bagels Trolley is at 6216 Old Dominion Drive  in the Chesterbrook Shopping Lot parking lot.
Read more about the people behind places to eat in McLean:

South Block: https://mcleantoday.org/talk-amir-mostafavi/

Pikoteo: https://mcleantoday.org/pikoteo/

Divan: https://mcleantoday.org/talk-gholam-tony-kowkabi/

Interview by Dania Reza: Reza is the social media content curator for McLean Today. She is a senior at McLean High School and is the design editor-in-chief of her award-winning school news magazine, The Highlander.


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