Corner con: Bagel prank raises hopes

It's been nearly a decade since Brian Fox snagged a spot on the Corner for a third Bodo's. So when a sign appeared announcing that the town's best-known bagelry was opening its University Avenue location, locals salivated. A check of their calendars, however, would have revealed the truth: The sign was an elaborate April Fool's hoax.

"People are so nuts," laughs Fox, owner of the chain. "It's very funny."

Fox was particularly impressed by the trouble the unidentified pranksters went to to make the joke seem believable. They stuck a 3 x 3-foot laminated poster on the Corner Bodo's door, and distributed professionally printed flyers around UVA, promising free bagels from 7-8am.

The news was soon spreading nationwide by email, reaching UVA grad Catherine Jordan in New York by late morning.

"It's about time!" wrote Allison Elias, who by that time was in on the joke and was having fun spreading the word. An email attachment, supposedly a Cavalier Daily article, told the real story.

"April Fool's! Do you think the Bodo's on the Corner would ever open?" Elias wrote.

Good question.

Fox is cagey.

"There's absolutely nothing to it," he says, "except the usual disclaimer, which is that I don't talk about it."

It was May 1995 when Fox confirmed that he'd rented the space for the Corner Bodo's. Someday a real opening announcement will appear, he promises.

"It's gonna happen," Fox insists. "Keep the faith."

Hopes rose, but bagel dough did not.

This story is a part of the Waiting for Bodo special.
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