Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Jimmy John’s sandwich shop to open on South University

Photo of future Jimmy John's location

Jimmy John's, a popular sub sandwich chain, plans to open a shop along University Boulevard.

Competition for the fast-food appetite on South University Boulevard will get a little toastier this summer with the opening of a Jimmy John’s store just north of Evans Avenue. 

Jimmy John’s — a nationwide sub and sandwich shop based in Champaign, Ill. — will open near the end of July in the former Colorado Petfitters at 2075 S. University Blvd., franchise owner Brendan Killian says.

Killian already owns two of the 21 Jimmy John’s stores in Colorado. Nationwide, there are some 1,100 franchises, with about 200 opening each year, Killian says.

Situated just north of Mustard’s Last Stand on the west side of University Boulevard, the Jimmy John’s store will occupy the end unit of an array of eateries that includes Blackjack Pizza and in early August a new chicken-and-chili shop called Zingers. The five-store stretch of retail shops also houses PakMail and Darque Tan businesses.

“Jimmy John’s corporate is just ecstatic that we’re going in there,” Killian says, noting that the company was founded by Jimmy John Liataud in 1983 near Eastern Illinois University. The menu at the DU-area location will be the same as at other franchise stores, a 17-item array of club and sub sandwiches with bread baked on premises plus pickles and cookies.

“‘It’s freaky fast’ is the slogan and that’s no joke,” Killian says. “We did 50 box lunches recently in 15 minutes. Most places want 24 hours notice.”

Operating hours are a bit vague, starting when the first batch of bread comes out of the oven and extending until an hour after the bars close, Killian says. He figures that means the shop will be open from 11 a.m. to around 3 a.m. Moreover, the store will deliver as little as a single sandwich in a territory measured as far as you can drive in any direction for five minutes at high noon, Killian says.

If that seems a bit unusual, it’s because Jimmy John’s is built on an unusual tradition of upbeat, relaxed, friendly attitude combined with speed.

“If a sandwich is ready in 30 seconds, that’s too slow,” Killian says.    

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