A Jersey Mike’s Long Island outpost could have more than the aroma of fresh-baked bread swirling in the air.
The former Normandie Inn restaurant in Bohemia is set to welcome the sandwich chain to 155 Smithtown Avenue, Newsday reported. The property has been boarded up since 2004, but will begin welcoming customers by the end of the year.
The sandwich chain intends to open four more Long Island locations in 2022, including in Hicksville, Lynbrook, Rocky Point and Shirley. Another is expected to open in Huntington Station in the first quarter of 2023.
The eatery is opening about 300 franchises across the country. The company counts close to 2,200 shops, mostly franchises, and will soon operate in every state in the country.
Jersey Mike’s is one of the biggest sandwich chains in the nation, rivaling Subway, Panera and Firehouse Subs. The company totaled $2.2 billion in sales last year, a 38 percent increase year-over-year, largely attributed to store growth.
The building it will use in Normandie was purportedly constructed for a Czech baron a century ago and served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. The owners intend to keep as much of the gothic styling as possible, despite the rumored ghost of a woman killed there haunting the halls.
“Great sandwiches, great spirits,” said Seth Goldstein, a partner at Management 360, which will operate the Jersey Mike’s location. It purchased the property through an affiliate in 2020 and will spend $1 million renovating it.
The owners of East End Interiors previously bought the property, hoping to convert it into an interior design and furniture showroom. The plans never came to fruition.
The property is about 7,000 square feet, but the restaurant will only be 1,300 square feet on the first floor.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner