Posted on 12 April 2012
Renovations have begun on the storefront at 4533 Baltimore Ave., which will be the location of a controversial Subway restaurant. Judging by the sign above, some people are still not happy about it.
Last I heard, this thing was squashed. Guess they approved it after they said they didn’t.
That’s exactly what happened. I think someone was paid off.
Why does west philly need a “subway”. “Subway” sucks, phillys mom and pop shops make better sandwiches, and there is a million of those in the city
If Subway isn’t needed, it’ll be reflected in their sales.
I personally will continue to go to Fuh Wahs to get my hoagies.
I’m happy my neighborhood has graduated to the level of at least having polite vandals.
Wahoo my gift card!
Why in the world are people so worked up about a Subway coming to west Philadelphia? In my opinion Subway has just as much of a right as any other establishment to lay the foundation for a prospering business. If people don’t like it, they won’t shop there, and the place will go out of business. If people like it, then the place will flourish and it will have proven to be a worthwhile adventure. This storefront has housed a african food market and then a deli, which were both failures, and is now an abandoned store front. I say let Subway come, give them a chance, and let people vote with their almighty dollar. Or we can revert to west Philly snobs and try to decide for the masses what is appropriate
I agree. I’ll take a subway any day over another honest tom’s crapstablishment
Go Josh go!
I can’t wait to try a West Philly footlong from subway
Delicous. Can’t wait.
personally i could care less; i won’t be eating there/their processed excuse for food..
what does Honest Tom’s have to do with a sandwich shop?! i’m just happy that they are using corn tortillas for the tacos, these days:]
I would prefer an empty storefront or a another place that sells cell phone chargers and cheap incense. oh wait, no i wouldn’t.
Or fly gear.
The world could always use more tacos
Any operating business is better than an empty storefront. It shows that Baltimore Ave. is a lucrative commercial corridor. Personally I wish a “raw bar” would open up in this neighborhood so I get my raw clam and raw oyster fix without schlepping to Center City’s Oyster Bar or South Philly’s Snockey’s.
subway is a large chain that means they buy their supplies in a larger bulk than local shops. that means they can offer their sandwhiches for less. that means they can take alot of business from local shops and even shut them down. that is why they are evil. its unnecessary greed. this is why “letting them have a shot”,sucks.because they are cheap. people are struggling and will probably go for the cheaper option at times. subway is taking advantage of a struggling neighborhood. they have teams that study demographics and marketing and psychologists trying to strategically make a buck. they arent just some dude making a buck off a hoagie. the argument is, if they neighborhood is struggling why shouldnt there be an option for something to be cheap? well there are ethics and morals that come into play. its like a dollar store for food. all that cheap junk is made from china by little kids in awful working conditions.
So guy what are the lcoal shops you are talking about in this neighborhood? What would you suggest people like me who can’t afford a hoagie from local shop? What about making a sandwich at home instead? I would go further to say that we don’t need those local businesses at all because they are taking advantages of lasy people like me who don’t want to make meals at home.
At this point, Subway is what it is– right or wrong, it’s an international chain restaurant with cheap sandwiches. Having Subway around won’t change anything for me. I’ll keep eating great hoagies from Fu Wah and Lee’s Deli, and I suspect that quite a few people will do the same. The neighborhood’s opinion will be reflected in sales.
Exactly, I refuse to buy anything from Fu Wah and Lee’s because the products are over-priced. I would rather make the sandwiches myself. They own the whole block of properties in this area and they are the big businesses which have greater influences on the neighborhood than Subway.
You pay for quality at those two delis/stores. Every sandwich I’ve purchased from both places has been worth every single penny.
One aspect that seems to be left out of this discussion is that Subway is a franchise. Although it is possible that there is a big evil board somewhere targeting vulnerable neighborhoods, it is also possible that one of our neighbors went to http://www.subway.com/subwayroot/Own_a_Franchise/default.aspx. I don’t know any of the details involved, but I would imagine that starting a franchise may have more manageable start-up costs than would starting a business from scratch, which not everyone could afford. For the record, I prefer to patronize businesses that are more local. But I wish we could cut down on the hyperbole.
it’s probably not worth it to comment on this but: why hate on honest tom’s? he’s a cool dude, his tacos are delicious, he created a couple of jobs. i get not liking some place, but i don’t think you need to be mean spirited. I would rather not have a bunch of chains along baltimore ave, because i don’t want baltimore ave to look like it could be any where else in the country. I realize it’s just one store, but I can imagine other chains like chipotle moving in. i’m not arguing against their right to have a franchise, i just think it if there were several chains it would change the character of the neighborhood for the worse. I like that baltimore ave doesn’t feel like 40th and walnut.
Everybody, go to Koch’s Deli on Locust, between 43rd and 44th, instead.
Now that’s a sandwich.
It’s not up to a few blog posters to determine that cheaper sandwiches are bad. Subway doesn’t force local businesses out at gunpoint. If there is demand in the neighborhood for lower quality food at a cheaper price, then the Subway will be a positive addition. The whole notion that this corporate giant will brainwash the masses into going there instead of locally owned shops is insulting. People know what they’re doing when they choose a shop to patronize. And if people really do want Subway, then we really shouldn’t care if it fits certain people’s agenda for the neighborhood. This is America, dammit!
Some of the Pro-Subway or apathetic folks need to read back a few articles re: Subway at that location. The owner is not local, he’s from Baltimore. They turned them down after public appeal but Spruce Hill Neighbors went behind the scenes and supported them even though they publicly opposed.
It’s not about whether they have RIGHT to have a store there, of course they do. It’s the fact that they asked for neighborhood support and didn’t get it so went behind the scenes.
Will they fail? Almost certainly. You can get a $5 hoagie (give or take a buck) at several other places: Fu Wah, Kung Fu, and those other places on the same block as well.
And I agree with the comment RE: Koch’s deli. Those guys feed you like kings while you wait and then give you the best sandwiches for the money.
Honest Tom is a great guy with a great store. Shame to talk down to that.
If you haven’t checked the Kung Fu hoagies guys, they’re great too.
While we are on this subject, I would just like to give my thoughts on honest tom’s. I live just a block away from there and have been there a handful of times now. the food is decent, and as much as i love mexican food and like to support local businesses, i find that tom or who ever the bearded guy at the counter is to be extremely rude and unwelcoming. i was there last weekend and was very polite and tipped the cook and everything but he still gives me a smug atitude every time i go in there.
i love koch’s deli not just for the great food, but for the warm and friendly atmosphere. i think that if honest tom’s wants to be a successful business, they should start treating their neighbors like neighbors. if tom could read this i really hope it strikes a nerve somewhere. i don’t say it to bash the guy or his business; and i’d definitely go there over a subway, but my overall impression of him and his business is that he’s a dick and his business is too elitist for west philly. until this changes i’ll walk the extra few blocks to guacamole on woodland.
i went there once and wont go there again.
Love honest tom’s. The service might be the most welcoming, but who cares? The burritos are really good, particularly the pork. My only complaint is that they sometimes don’t have it – I hope they figure out how to always have it available.
About Subway – if what HC says about the community association is true, then it sounds like the beef is with them, not Subway. But was there ever a legitimate zoning reason to keep them out? I’m guessing not, since the press hasn’t mentioned any variances being granted. So then who really gives a crap if the “community” was opposed to it? If the community really opposes it, people won’t eat there and it will close down. The community isn’t represented by the vocal minority who write letters and attend community association or zoning board meetings. Sorry. Just because peopkle are more active or involved than I am doesn’t give them a right to say what businesses are allowed to open here. Zoning laws exist in part for exactly that reason, to ensure impartiality in deciding who can operate a business where.
If we’re going to complain about poor service, let’s also discuss how certain places in the neighborhood are hostile to people who are non-native English speakers…
I’m all for supporting small business but I don’t get the hipster cred with Honest Tom’s. Tried a vegetarian burrito and shit was bland! Plus, $8 for a burrito that’s just beans, rice, cheese and sweet potato?! I don’t even think salsa came to the party. No thanks, I’ll go a few blocks east out of my way and brave the college kids for a Mexicali burrito.
Oh, and, whatever Subway. Enjoy your whole three months in business. The location they opened at 43rd & Powelton/Market is always empty.
Tom’s a cutie and an asset to the community. He can be as smug as he likes. Not everyones personality is naturally bubbly or over the top. Keep walking east so I can get my tacos in a more timely fashion.
i have no beef with subway (thanks, I’ll be here all week), but will probably continue to patronize Lee’s and Best Haus. I don’t care for Subway’s meats, which tend to be bland and greasy, and I have no faith at all that their steak can beat Lee’s.
And there’s no way in Hell they can beat a Fu Wah tofu hoagie.
I’m still trying to understand the “crappy processed food” arguments with Subway. How are the cold cuts at Subway so different then the cold cuts at Wawa, Lee’s or Fiesta’s?
Uhh, OK. So because Tom’s a “cutie” it makes worth overpaying for a mediocre product delivered with a surly attitude? Have fun getting your crappy tacos in a timely fashion. Or not, since hipsters line up to that place like flies at a turd buffet.
To disagree completely with 46th, attitude does matter. He has a business to run. There is a certain way to do it. Speaking as someone who has been in hospitality and resort work for 15 yrs., it is never JUST the product that keeps people coming back. It is how they are treated, what the atmosphere is. Tom’s may be popular now, but as more people are turned off by a combo of slack product/slack attitude, the business will fail. People usually go into these type of businesses because of a true love of food and serving. I used to get a not-so-nice service at their truck, so I don’t go to the Tom store AT ALL. It feels to me like it is just about money. You have to put your heart into it. The places that put their hearts into it are the places everyone is mentioning on here over and over again. Hell, I make a better taco and burrito. Tom’s better hope I don’t decide to open a place, because I WILL be smart enough to give people a reason to come back for more!
1. Subway is NOT going to undercut all the other sandwich shops on Baltimore Ave. by charging, say, $1.50 when everyone else is charging $5, $6, or $7. The hoagies at Subway are priced about the same as the independents. If someone buys a hoagie at Subway it’s probably just because they like the BBQ Chicken hoagie on an Italian herbs-n-cheese bread, which is a product the other guys.
2. Yes, the sandwiches are better at the other shops, which is why I am skeptical about how successful Subway will be. I think us local people will continue to patronize our favorite pizzerias and delis.
3. The so-called “local” or “independent” shops are mostly owned by business people who do not live in Philly. I know them all, Gus and Maria of Royal, Frantz at Best House, etc. They all live out of town. So what is the big deal about a Marylander who lives, say 70 miles away and another business owner who lives in Delaware County 25 miles away?
4. The bottom line is a empty storefront will be occupied by a rent paying legitimate business. Personally I would love to see a more upscale and elegant shop there, but let’s face it: Baltimore Avenue id NOT Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.
Oops. Meant to say: “which is a product the other guys do not offer.”
Isn’t there a Subway at 44th and Market?? Why do we need too so close together. And Honest Tom’s is great! I live next door, eat there twice a week, and adore the owner….
For anyone interested, here’s a link to the agreement Spruce Hill Community Assocation was able to negotiate to with this Subway franchisee (previously posted by West Philly Local):
Details agreed to included improved facade, lighting, participation in Baltimore Avenue Business Association and Dollar Stroll events, details on garbage, noise, etc. I know not enough for everybody, but it’s a good start before they even open their doors.
Our community doesn’t get to pick which issues come before the zoning committee, but we can make the most of the requests that do. There are also quite a few open spaces left along the Baltimore Ave for local merchants if anyone wants to open the local business of their wildest dreams.
after having read that agreement, it’s hard to argue with a subway franchisee filling a vacant storefront. not a fan of chains in general or subway in particular, but maybe this is the kind of compromise the neighborhood can live with.
I often wonder if all the folks still fretting over Subway ever ask how many of their prefered hoagie joints all buy all of their supplies from the same corporate source, SYSCO.
1. I get not wanting to support chains. Don’t. Spend your money some place else. Vote with your dollars. Its your right, use it. But don’t take away others rights because you “know better”.
2. How much do you know about where the stuff from your prefered hoagie shop comes from because there is a very good chance its every bit as processed and corporate.
@ Sean Dorn, THANK YOU!!!! I KNOW Fu Wah and Fiesta buy processed crap too. Milk and Honey may not, but you’ll pay for it.
But what about the ducks, people?
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