New sub on the block

Published 8:58 pm Monday, May 2, 2011

Bristy Goff, left, and Doug Eitel are the owners of the new Subway restaurant in the historic downtown. It is the first chain restaurant to set up shop in the historic area for quite some time.

For the first time in recent memory, a chain restaurant is entering the mosaic of eating establishments available in historic downtown.

The Subway restaurant at 165 N. Main St. opened on Wednesday and already is becoming a fixture, owners Doug Eitel and Bristy Goff said.

“This is a good location for us and also for the community,” Goff said. “I think it’s a good fit for the historic district.”

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This is Eitel’s ninth Subway restaurant in the area. He also owns the Subway further up North Main Street in the Belk shopping center, as well as others in Smithfield, Franklin and Windsor.

This is the first restaurant part-owned by Goff, who is vice president and director of operations for the group of Subways.

Eitel said people have been asking him for years to put a restaurant in historic downtown, especially when they hit traffic jams and other difficulties getting to Main Street’s commercial district for lunch.

“We have been meaning to come downtown for quite a while,” Eitel said. “This place really boomed a few years ago, and we missed out on some spots.”

The new restaurant offers the full Subway menu consumers have come to expect from the sandwich chain, including breakfast offerings all day.

In fact, the new store already is outpacing Eitel’s other eight restaurants in breakfast sales, he said.

The store features a new, upscale design for a Subway interior, featuring exposed brick and warm colors on the seats.

“We really like this one,” Eitel said. “It really pops when you’re driving down the road and look in.”

Ten employees and one manager will work at the restaurant, and Eitel said he’s still on the lookout for good people to work for him.

Eitel said he doesn’t view Subway as a chain restaurant and thinks it will succeed in the historic downtown building.

“I’ve always said that even the Subway in Norfolk is my competition,” he said.

For more information on the store, call 539-1069.