Milford, Ohio-based Penn Station Subs plans to open a new location at The Village at Druid Hills at the intersection of Briarcliff and North Druid Hills Roads. The Village at Druid Hills location will be the sub franchise's first in Atlanta.
Penn Station will occupy a nearly 1,500 square foot space in the center, to the right of Newk's Eatery. Atlanta based fast casual chains Willy's Mexicana Grill and Tin Drum Asiacafe will open 2800 and 1750 square foot spaces, respectively, on the opposite end of the center.
Interestingly, Newk's Eatery features a menu that, while overall different from Penn Station, (soups, salads and pizzas), does include fourteen "toasted sandwiches." Penn Station's menu includes thirteen grilled or cold (deli style) sandwiches offered in 6, 8, 10 or 12 inch sizes. I'm no real estate expert, but similar sandwich offerings would seem to present a co-tenancy issue. (Newk's and Penn Station are literally next door to each other.)
Penn Station separates itself from other sub joints by offering fresh squeezed lemonade (like nearby Chick-fil-A) and fresh cut french fries. The sub joint's most popular sandwich is their Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub Sandwich.
Penn Station will face existing competition in the immediate area from the likes of industry leader Subway, located adjacent to a Chevron nearby. Jersey Mike's Subs also operates a reportedly popular location in Loehmann's (The Fresh Market?) Plaza.
Penn Station East Coast Subs was started in 1985 and has since grown to include more than 250 locations. In 2013, the chain announced ambitious grown plans that included entering new markets such as Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Detroit; Nashville; Richmond, Virginia; and North and South Carolina.
Brief research shows that while the chain is successful overall, I found at least four locations that have closed in the past few years. Two locations in Raleigh, North Carolina, and locations in Madison, Mississippi and St. Louis, Missouri have reportedly closed, albeit for different reasons.
According to a late 2012 article, the chain (at the time) sported a remarkably high success rate. "We have made each restaurant's success our main priority, which is why we are able to offer such an outstanding return on investment to our franchisees and why we boast a 99.9 percent success rate," according to Craig Dunaway, president of Penn Station.
According to the official Penn Station website, this is the only metro Atlanta location currently "coming soon."
Opening a single location of a new to market fast-casual chain can be quite risky. Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based Erbert & Gerbert's and Coralville, Iowa-based Panchero's Mexican Grill both lasted only a short time before their single franchised locations near Decatur and at Allen Plaza, respectively, closed. Jacksonville, Florida-based Larry's Giant Subs had an even shorter life with their location at the Prado in Sandy Springs.
The local franchisee of Cinnaminson, New Jersey-based Slack's Hoagie Shack tried to go upscale at TOWN Brookhaven and closed in early 2012, less than eighteen months after opening. (Slack's former space will be reopened later this year as a second location of Lucky's Burger & Brew) In the mid 2000s, another franchisee opened an Alpharetta location of Lewis Center, Ohio-based W.g. Grinders that also didn't exactly catch on, and closed.