With rumors of its arrival beginning to spread more than a year ago, Jersey Mike’s is scheduled to open in west Lawrence on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
“The big delay was just in getting the construction started, but once that got rolling, we were fine,” operating partner Dan Markgraf says.
Markgraf emphasizes the idea that the sub shop’s fresh meats and cheeses and locally sourced produce put it apart from run-of-the-mill shops that use pre-cut, freezer-bagged vegetables.
“What separates us is the freshness of the products,” Markgraf says. “We hand-slice the meats and cheeses right in front of you.”
Brandon Moore, the store’s general manager, has served as a general manager at a local Taco Bell for the past two years. He says the flavor and freshness of the food at Jersey Mike’s are major reasons he took the job after being recruited.
“When they approached me about the job, I said I had to try (the food) first,” Moore says. “I was just kind of blown away. I didn’t expect something so fresh. You know, you can be 100 percent proud of the food you’re serving.”
Markgraf says the restaurant also has a gluten-free option. “We don’t sell too many, but it is a nice option for guests who have Celiac disease.”
Back in 2006, Jersey Mike’s opened a franchise in Lawrence, but it closed about 10 years ago. This franchise is positioned to fare better than its past counterpart, both Markgraf and Moore believe.
To mark its grand opening at 4801 Bauer Farm Drive, Jersey Mike’s is launching a fundraiser for Free State High School.
Employees will disperse 7,500 free sub cards within a 5-mile radius. Anyone who comes across a card can make a $2 donation to Free State High School to redeem a sandwich.
“Once all (the cards) are redeemed we will then cut a check to Free State High School for whatever they need — athletics, band, trips — that will be for them,” Markgraf says. “(Free State) is right in our backyard, so we thought it would be a good partnership. We know how hard it is for schools nowadays with budgets typically, so we want to do our part.”
Jersey Mike’s strives to be supportive of each community it takes root in, Markgraf says. And nonprofits are welcome to contact the store about more fundraising opportunities.
With 25 employees currently, Jersey Mike’s is fully staffed, but still accepting applications.
“We are currently fully staffed but always looking for great talent,” Moore says.
Delivery for Jersey Mike’s will be available from third-party providers such as EatStreet, Grubhub and DoorDash.
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Chansi Long (she/her), a contributor to The Lawrence Times, has a bachelor of science in mass media from Baker University and a master’s in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She’s been published in the Washington Post, River Teeth and Brevity. She was honored to be named Kansas Writer of the Year by the Winfield Arts and Humanities Council in 2016 for her essay “Lovesick.”
Read more of her work for the Times here.