Subway comes to downtown Tacoma

Hilltop residents will soon be able to enjoy more than burgers and fries when it comes to fast food, with the opening of a new Subway restaurant in the Alberta J. Canada Building.

Located at 1112 South 11th St., doors are set to open at 8 a.m. tomorrow, with special promotions taking place this Friday and Saturday to attract customers to the restaurant.

The ubiquitous Subway, which has over 15,000 stores worldwide – with 12,000-plus locations in the U.S. – is a popular restaurant that specializes in freshly-made sub and deli sandwiches.

In addition to the trademark sandwiches, this Subway will offer breakfast sandwiches, chips, seafood, soups and salads.

“It’s going to be top-notch all the way,” said owner Edgar Ware, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Washington, Tacoma, in December.

“It’s the healthiest fast food I know of,” he said, referring to the lower fat content of some of the sandwiches offered. “You can’t go wrong.”

Indeed, many people are familiar with Subway via the restaurant’s television commercials featuring Jared Fogle, a man who lost 245 pounds, in part, by eating healthy, low fat sandwiches from Subway.

The 40-year-old Ware is no stranger to healthy living, saying he runs marathons to stay in shape.

In addition to running his own business, Ware works full-time at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and is also a husband, and father of two sons, Nathan, 12, and Jordan 10.

“We’re looking to offer a quality product,” Ware said, “and a decent place to dine.”

The interior of the 1,150-square-foot restaurant, where customers can watch their sandwiches being made behind the counter, features old-style green and white wallpaper with the New York City skyline.

Owning his own business is a dream come true for Ware, who said he didn’t expect to be a business owner so soon after earning his degree.

“I always wanted to own my own business,” he said, “because I like being independent and making my own decisions.”

Ware said he considered opening a coffee shop along with Deborah Tuggle of Friday’s Cookies, another business located in the Alberta J. Canada Building, but after doing some research he decided owning his own Subway franchise was the way to go.

“It kind of had my name on it,” he said. “So, I pursued it, and here we are.”

“It’s a challenge,” he said of getting ready to open for business, “but we’re looking forward to it.”

The day before opening, employees and family members were busy making last minute preparations and cleaning, while employees were also being trained in food preparation, baking, assembling the sandwiches and customer service.

Ultimately, Ware said he plans to have 10 employees working, and eventually he plans to hand over day-to-day managing duties to his wife, Diana, while he manages the business from the outside.

Being part of the improvement in the Hilltop area, a neighborhood once dominated by gangs and drug dealers that has now become a secure urban neighborhood, is something Ware is proud to be a part of.

“It’s a major turn around in this part of town,” he said, noting he wants to provide jobs for young people. “It is a big turn around.”

The new Subway’s hours are tentatively scheduled as follows: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

That could change, based on the response of customers, Ware said.