Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sandwiches are tops at The Sub Pub in Chester

The name Sub Pub may lead you to believe that foamy brews are served alongside
salami sandwiches. But don't be fooled.

"No, there's no alcohol,'' says owner Karen Wolfe, who has worked as an employee at the shop in Chester since 1975, which was two years before her parents purchased it. "We have root beer and birch beer. If that floats your boat, no problem,'' she says with a laugh.

"The name was there for so long that we didn't want to change it,'' Wolfe says. "People had associated the business with the name, so we just kept it and continued to run with it.''

But drinks aren't the issue here: The subs here are so good they can stand on their own.

Wolfe learned the ropes from a skilled professional, an "older gentleman who worked for the previous owner who was an actual French chef.''

"I learned how you went about presenting food -- the presentation of what was going on (in the sandwich) to the customer -- and how to get the most with the ingredients you were working with. I learned a lot from him -- an awful lot.''

Prior to starting work at the Sub Pub, she had never had any interest in working in the food industry. Now, though, she feels it is a natural fit.

"You know, it's one of those things where you wake up one day and you realize that you have a niche or an aptitude that you never realized you had,'' Wolfe explains, sitting at a table by a window. "You kind of grow into it. You're just kind of, "What am I going to do with my life?' and after 10 years of doing this, you realize that this IS your life.''

And that life includes providing her patrons with quality sandwiches, such as the Long Valley, which is roast beef, turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and Russian dressing, and the Chester, which has corned beef, turkey, roast beef, boiled ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and Russian dressing.

Also on the bill are salad platters, hot dishes such as vegetable lasagna and even sandwiches without any bread at all.

"We have 40 different kinds of sandwiches, so it's hard to say which is the most
popular,'' Wolfe says.

She has had her fair share of business competition over the years.

"There is a Subway around the corner. And there have been other sub, quote unquote, places. You know, years ago there was a Blimpie's in town. And there have been been other delis and stuff that have come and gone,'' she says.

But Wolfe doesn't let the economy or pressure from competition get her down. For one key reason: "We just stick to what we do, and don't pay any attention to what everybody else is doing,'' Wolfe says. "Because this is what we've been doing for so long, this is what we're known for, and this is what people have come to expect, so we just stuck to our guns and just really didn't let the competition bother us.''

And as she says this, she has to go ring up another happy customer who stepped into the store.

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