Yes, Jersey Mike’s is still coming to eastern Idaho
AMMON – Despite rumors to the contrary, Jersey Mike’s will still be opening in Ammon.
The New Jersey-based sub and sandwich restaurant was originally planning to open in late February or early March in a 1,500-square-foot space on the east end of Hillcrest Plaza next to Dutch Bros. Owner Charlie Gerard tells EastIdahoNews.com construction delays have pushed back its opening date.
“We are delayed about a month or so. We have all permits and should start construction in the next couple weeks,” Gerard says.
The delays are tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything moves a little slower with the covid restrictions, lenders, contractors, suppliers, etc. There was not just one thing that held us up but time constraints,” Gerard says.
Gerard told us in December opening day is usually about nine weeks from the day construction begins. A grand opening event may happen during the first few weeks of business.
Jersey Mike’s offers a variety of cold and hot subs for customers served on white, wheat or rosemary parmesan bread. The restaurant also serves cheesesteak sandwiches.
“We’re as much of a sandwich shop as you’re going to get. It’s all fresh meat (and) fresh-baked bread. That’s what we’re about,” Gerard says.
The most popular item on the menu is the Italian club, Gerard says, which has the most amount of meat. Aside from what’s offered on the menu, there are nearly limitless combination possibilities.
Gerard recently worked as the regional manager for Applebee’s, Chili’s and Buffalo Wild Wings and he’s seen how these restaurants and the industry have performed in eastern Idaho over the last 25 years. He was introduced to Jersey Mike’s by a Buffalo Wild Wings employee several years ago and was impressed with his experience.
Gerard says Hillcrest Plaza was an ideal spot for opening one in eastern Idaho.
“I like that part of the city, the way you can get into it coming from the freeway. The stores on that side (of town) have been very successful … over the years,” Gerard says. “We like the proximity to the hospital and the school. It’s a very progressively populated area with lots of traffic.”
A company news release indicates Jersey Mike’s first opened as Mike’s Subs in 1956 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Its menu and service style were a new concept at the time and it quickly grew to have locations throughout New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Peter Cancro, a 17-year-old high school senior who had worked for Mike’s Subs, purchased the business in 1975. He opened two other stores over the next decade. The name was changed to Jersey Mike’s in 1987 when Cancro started franchising the business. Today, there are more than 2,500 locations nationwide.
Gerard is already looking at potential sites in Rexburg and Pocatello for two additional stores once the Ammon location is up and running. He’s looking forward to seeing how customers in eastern Idaho respond to Jersey Mike’s Subs.
“When we come in, we definitely want to be part of the community,” Gerard says. “We’re looking to staff the place with local people and be a staple in the community. We’re (honored) to be with a company that is so proud to share and be part of any community that they’re in.”