Move over Subway. Take a seat Jimmy Johns. Firehouse Subs has arrived.
Actually the Florida-based sub shop has more than 600 restaurants in 35 states. But they're new to Michigan, with restaurants now open in East Lansing and Mt. Pleasant. It appears that number will grow significantly if John Kupiec has his way. Kupiec knowns a thing or 2 about subs.
His roots are in advertising as the longtime head of the Can Am agency. Along with way he owned several Michigan Subway stores. And he also dabbled in politics, having lost to then incumbent Congressman Dale Kildee in a US House race a few years back. These days he says he's making a better sub sandwich. At Firehouse, it's all about steam.
Firehouse Subs opened its first larea-location in Mount Pleasant last Wednesday. In a news release, it says "The restaurant is famous for steaming its premium meats and cheeses piled high atop toasted sub rolls and served Fully Involved with fresh produce. The authentic firehouse setting is based on the founding familyâ??s decades of fire and police service, and the new location is decorated with local firefighter memorabilia from the Mount Pleasant Fire Department."
Firehouse Subs favorites include the Hook & Ladder piled high with smoked turkey and Virginia honey ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese and the New York Steamer, inspired by New York delicatessens, combining corned beef brisket and pastrami topped with melted provolone. All large Specialty Subs boast a half-pound of meat. Other top sellers include the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisketâ?¢, Italianâ?¢ and Firehouse Meatball subs.
Every Firehouse Subs restaurant boasts a custom, hand-painted mural and this locationâ??s mural depicts the Mount Pleasant Fire Department extinguishing a blazing gazebo fire on the Central Michigan University campus. Firehouse Subs Mount Pleasant is located at 1729 South Mission St., and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. When the fall semester begins in late August, this location will be open for extended late night hours Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 3 a.m. This is the first Firehouse Subs restaurant for franchisee Will Oâ??Hara.
Firehouse Subs consistently ranks No. 1 among fast casual brands in the categories of food quality, taste and flavor, and friendly service; for the last two years Franchise Business Review has ranked it No. 1 in franchisee satisfaction, and in 2012, the brand earned first place honors in the sandwich category in the Nationâ??s Restaurant News Consumer Picks study.
In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given $6.4 million to hometown heroes in 36 states and Puerto Rico, including more than $44,600 in Michigan.