The Design and Development Review Boards are expected to discuss an application for a Subway restaurant franchise at their meeting on Nov. 28. At the request of Rize Properties, who submitted an application for a proposed Subway restaurant to be located at 210 Depot Street, the former Real Sports and Video 1 location, the discussion of the proposal was postponed from the Nov. 14 DRB meeting to the next DRB meeting on Nov. 28.
"All I can tell you right now is that we have requested the DRB hearing to be postponed until a later date pending negotiations between Subway and the landlord Herb Donner of Rize Properties," said Chris Cole, property manager.
Along with the Subway restaurant application discussion, the Sirloin Saloon property discussion was also postponed until the Nov. 28 DRB meeting. Dorset Development LLC must first receive an Act 250 permit and have their plans for a new building approved by the DRB in order to demolish the current Sirloin Saloon property.
This proposed Subway restaurant has caused a stir around the local community on whether this is the right choice for the town to adopt. In a letter submitted to the DRB on Nov. 14, Melanie Allen, Manchester resident and owner of The Gourmet Deli Cafe, raised her concerns.
"As both a local restaurant owner and resident of the Town of Manchester, I have reservations about the fit and look of a Subway restaurant located in the heart of our beautiful, quaint town," she stated. "With the near-completion of the roundabout project, by the way, which is an upgrade to the center of town, but Subway restaurant certainly is not an upgrade, in my eyes and surely many others as well. Not to mention what it would do financially to us local restaurants."
Allen is not alone. Others are reserved on the idea as well.
"I just don't like it," said Susan Debus, a current resident of Danby who grew up in Manchester. "I think that Manchester is small and unique and it is different from other towns. Now, when they start adding fast-food restaurants and chain stores it just seems to cheapen the whole atmosphere." The location of the proposed Subway restaurant would place it in between the popular Bagel Works Cafe and McDonald's.
Charlotte Diotte, administrative director of The Works Bakery Cafe, or Bagel Works, said that Bagel works has no comment at this time.
According to the application submitted to the DRB, the Subway, if approved and constructed, would be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with hours of operation being from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will offer fresh baked gourmet bread daily along with fresh chopped and prepared to order salads.
In 1965, Subway restaurants was founded by 17 year-old high school graduate Fred DeLuca, along with family friend Dr. Peter Buck. The first restaurant opened in Bridgeport, Conn. in 1965 and was called Pete's Super Submarines. The first franchised Subway unit opened in Wallingford, Conn.
Today, the Subway brand is the world's largest submarine sandwich chain with more than 37,000 locations around the world and, according to its Web site, is committed to providing a variety of great tasting, healthier food choices while reducing their environmental footprint and creating a positive influence in the communities they serve around the world.