Although Portsmouth isn’t known as a place for underground transit, it did get its second Subway.
That’s Subway, as in sandwich shop.
Owners Derek Savas and Jay DeLeon say they were happy to have opened the 2,000 sq.-ft. store, located off West Main Road, on June 18.
An official "grand opening" ceremony will be scheduled for a couple of weeks from now.
After buying the land in October 2009, they originally had a January opening date but it was pushed back to June and there’s still more work to be done.
“It’s a very nice beautiful outdoor seating area, but we haven’t finished. We’re working toward completion of the project,” said Savas.
Savas owns the East Main Road store by himself, but he and DeLeon own seven locations together including this new one.
According to the partners, they employ a staff of eight at the new location and, for all of the Subways they own, a total of 90.
Even though the menu is the same, this location differs from the East Main store.
“It’s a different traffic flow. Many people travel the same route day in and day out so we have seen many new faces. We have had customers from , and . There’s been so much positive feedback,” said Savas.
But Savas and DeLeon didn’t do it alone as this was a group effort.
“My brother Keith Savas and Marcel LaBante did all this beautiful interior work. The town officials also made this a productive, hassle free, rewarding project,” Savas said. “The Zoning Board, Planning Board and Design Review Board were great."
The pair has had a long history together, being childhood friends. They even attended a one month Subway school together in order to become franchisees in 2003.
“I won a spelling bee in fifth grade. I believe the word was ‘Excalibur’ and Derek helped carry the trophy home. We’ve been good friends since,” said DeLeon.
But Subway ownership wasn’t a straight shot, according to DeLeon.
“I went to school at Bryant University and was working for Fidelity Investments in Boston. The corporate culture just wasn’t for me. Then, Derek and I got together. I’d have to say the most rewarding thing now is working with my good friend and partner,” he said.
As for the grand opening, they plan to pull out all the stops particularly because of a personal connection Savas has with the icon and spokesman of Subway’s weight loss menu. While not set in stone, the new owners plan to invite the famous "Jared."
“I went to school with Jared Fogle at Bridgewater State University and he became a good friend of mine. We plan on having him here to greet and talk to people. We just have to schedule it with him,” he said.
For more information about Subway and its menu, click here.