Jersey Mike’s Plans NYC Expansion

The Jersey Mike's booth at ICSC's RECon in Las Vegas. (Lauren Elkies Schram/Commercial Observer)

The Jersey Mike’s booth at ICSC’s RECon in Las Vegas. (Lauren Elkies Schram/Commercial Observer)

Following some construction snafus, New Jersey-based fast casual food chain Jersey Mike’s late last month opened a 2,200-square-foot sub shop at 938 Third Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets.

The company “faced a lot of construction hurdles we didn’t anticipate,” Henry Gallo, the New York City and Long Island area director and owner of the two NYC Jersey Mike’s, told Commercial Observer at the annual International Council of Shopping CentersRECon event in Las Vegas, Nev. He declined to elaborate.

The Midtown location was originally slated to open last September.

Jersey Mike’s opened its first New York City location, a 3,200-square-foot space at 80 Maiden Lane, in July 2013.

Mr. Gallo said both leases were signed for 10-year terms with options, but declined to provide the rents. Branded Concept Development broker Alex Turboff, who represented the sandwich company, previously told the Wall Street Journal that rents in both locations were in the mid-$20,000s per month.

The Manhattan locations are purportedly more high-end than the generic branches found elsewhere.

Manhattan Jersey Mike’s diners like their cheesesteaks, in particular the chicken options, more than their suburban counterparts do.

Indeed, cheesesteak sandwiches account for 32 percent of the food sales in the Manhattan stores. So-called chicken cheesesteaks comprise 40 percent of sales,  Mr. Gallo said. Nationwide, 20 percent of food sales are cheesesteaks and of that only 1 percent is chicken.

There are currently 761 Jersey Mike’s in 38 states. The 58-year-old company is focused on opening locations in the Westchester County and Connecticut markets, but Mr. Gallo hopes other franchisees will eventually open seven to 10 more locations in New York City, with Manhattan being the primary focus.

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