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Owner sells Rock Hill's Durango Bagel

After eight years as the face of Durango Bagel, Wayne Wingate has sold his coffee and sandwich spot to a buyer already familiar to most customers.

Donna Zeigler, Durango's manager for more than four years, bought the shop from Wingate and plans to change the name to Bella D's Coffee & Pasta.

Zeigler will add spaghetti, lasagna, stuffed shells and Italian dishes that reflect her family's heritage. The place will stay open for dinner, with waiters offering table service at night. Bagels and sandwiches will stay on the menu.

The Durango name is going away, but Wingate says he's happy with how things turned out. The 60-year-old grandpa said he took pride in running a restaurant for local people, by local people - and he's confident Zeigler feels the same way.

"I really wanted it to be local," he said. "We've tried to pride ourselves on being the anti-chain. I used to tell the folks, 'Don't ever ask for ID on a check. Don't act like the chain places.' "

Wingate bought Durango in 2002 when it was in an old house on Charlotte Avenue. The shop moved in 2007 to a newer spot in the Millwood Plantation shopping center on Herlong Avenue.

Under Wingate's ownership, Durango hosted charity events, fundraisers and coffee hours with the school superintendent. Wingate donated 60 percent of sales on his 60th birthday to the United Way of York County.

While Wingate played the role of zany frontman, Zeigler kept the coffee hot and the bagels toasted.

Customers know Zeigler as the lady who always wears shorts, even in winter. It's a way to keep cool while zipping around the floor delivering orders and supervising the assembly line.

The name "Bella D's" comes from Donna Zeigler's Italian nickname coupled with her first initial.

Along with changing the name in May or June, Donna Zeigler and her husband, Brad, will add flat-screen TVs and expanded catering services.

"They're going to turn it into a real business," Wingate said. The former ad executive plans to do freelance work as a marketing consultant.

Taking a short break during the lunch hour this week, Zeigler said her predecessor is welcome to return any time.

"If I don't find a real job," Wingate said, "I may be taking her up on that offer."

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