Winston Mezo, Carbondale's legendary bagel man, sold his last bagel in April before retiring from the business he operated for 34 years.
It took only a few days after listing his equipment for sale on Craigslist for a new owner to step up and continue the business that is a favorite memory of many SIU graduates.
"I bought the business on Halloween," Brad Preiss said Thursday as he prepared warm bagels with the works for customers outside of Hill Printing in Marion. "I am trying to keep the tradition, offering 'Winston's Bagels by B-Rad.'"
Hill Printing owner Rita Sigley offered "B-Rad" the opportunity to set up at her storefront.
"He's related," she said with a grin. "He's my nephew-in-law."
Sigley, who has owned Hill Printing with her husband, Earl, for two decades, wanted to offer her community a chance to experience the bagels as well as giving her "family" another venue.
"I think it's been popular so far," she said.
In fact, a steady stream of customers braved the cold to wait for warm bagels.
Some, like Marinda Riecan, who works at the Williamson County Courthouse, are regular customers.
"I like it all the way," she said, "everything on it."
Shannon Kohl likes hers the same way.
"I had one in Carterville at Christmas," she said. Kohl brought along her friend, Maeve Charles, a first-time customer, who said she was looking forward to the experience.
As more customers began to trickle in, B-Rad placed more bagels on the grill.
"We've been really busy since taking over," he said. "We are in Carbondale, Marion, West Frankfort, Royalton … just all over."