By Jeff Toquinto on November 01, 2013
The ribbon-cutting on Bridgeport’s newest restaurant will take place today at 11 a.m. However, the restaurant in question has been open since Wednesday.
According to Ron Stuart, Firehouse Subs opened at 10:30 a.m. on that day. Already, business has been solid at the new eatery located at the Commons at Charles Pointe.
“Things have gone great. The best part is that we’ve got a lot of catering orders in the first few days, including five or six big orders,” Stuart, the president of the local franchise said.
To help celebrate the opening, the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bridgeport will host a ribbon cutting today. Stuart is hoping that the public will take part in the event and then stop in for Bridgeport’s newest dining spot.
“We’d love to see some the community come and visit us (today),” said Stuart.
Stuart said the turnout has been good and he credits a variety of things for the early store traffic. He said he did a local marketing blitz where he dropped off information about Firehouse Subs to local businesses, including the nearby United Hospital Center.
Firehouse Subs offers, as the name suggests, fire department-themed sandwiches and more from their new city location. According to Stuart, there is nothing frozen and no microwaving involved with their subs. The meats, he said, are sliced fresh every morning by an individual whose title is actually “the slicer.” Their responsibility is to get the ham, turkey, corn beef, roast beef and pastrami – and much more – sliced and ready for the dining crowd. Subs are offered in 8-inch and 12-inch varieties. Salads are also made fresh daily.
The store itself has more than just sandwiches to look at. Along with various paraphernalia used by fire fighters adorning the walls, the Bridgeport location has pictures from various local departments, including Bridgeport, Clarksburg and others. However, the real eye pleaser is the giant mural of Bridgeport and Clarksburg fire trucks facing one another.
Along with the previously mentioned dining options, Stuart said Firehouse Subs offers a full line of catering services. He also said there are boxed lunches available for those who want to get their lunch quickly. He added that in March the company will be introducing a new “light menu” for those wanting a lighter option. There will also be a featured sub every quarter.
Firehouse Subs has made a lot of progress since the initial location was opened in 1994 in Jacksonville, Fla. Nearly two decades and 600-plus stores later, brother firefighters and Firehouse Subs co-founders Robin and Chris Sorensen have a nationwide food sensation on their hands. And that craze is ready to get started here in Bridgeport.
While Stuart believes the food will set itself apart from other eateries, there is one thing that definitely will set itself apart. The company has a non-profit, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation that was created in 2005, according to its Web site. The goal of the foundation is to provide “funding, life-saving equipment, disaster assistance and educational opportunities for first responders and public safety organizations.”
The local store will be managed to Stuart’s son Nick. He will serve as the vice president and general manager and has worked at the chain in Lynchburg, Va., prior to working here.
Editor's Note: Pictured in the group shot is Firehouse Subs President Ron Stuart, far left, with, from left, his wife Bonnie, son and general manager Nick, and Nick's wife Ali.