In the age of locavorism and artisanal eating, it’s all too common to hate on chain restaurants. But, clearly, not all chains are created equal. I love a good grassfed beef, locally sourced cheeseburger just as much as the next guy, but in a pinch, In-N-Out or even Wendy’s hit my sweet spot. Sandwich chains are no exception. Arkansas has whole host of lackluster chain sandwich shops. But there’s one restaurant that, in my opinion, shines far brighter than the rest which doesn’t even exist in Arkansas. But all that is about to change…for within a few months, Potbelly Sandwich Shop will be opening in Little Rock.
Now excuse me for a bit while I fawn all over Potbelly…
I am, to say the least, ecstatic that they are coming to Arkansas—that day cannot come soon enough. Why does my heart swell with joy over the thought of walking into our very own Potbelly? Because it’s the absolute best sandwich chain in the universe. This is a scientifically proven fact. While living in Dallas, I had a Potbelly located dangerously close to my house—and despite the fact that Big D is chock full of exemplary restaurants, I found myself craving Potbelly all the time.
Go ahead and look over their menu to see what’s coming. But here’s a few of my own insights: They toast all their sandwiches…and they toast them perfectly (not like Quizno’s, who has a tendency to serve shriveled pieces of charcoal slathered in mayo). Despite being a chain, I’ve always found their meats — which include capicola, mortadella, salami, Angus roast beef, etc. — to be incredibly flavorful. Beyond that, they also put out some really spectacular cookies and shakes. In fact, I have never had a better sugar cookie than those served at Potbelly (I know a “sugar cookie” sounds rather drab, but trust me here).
I’ve got a few personal tips on what and how to order at Potbelly, but I’ll save those for a later post, as we get closer to the opening date.
The soon-to-be owner and operator of Arkansas’ first Potbelly, Ryan Hamra, has been training in Dallas over the last few week in preparation for our Little Rock location. The sandwich shop will be located in the Park Avenue Shopping Center (314 South University, St. 160, near the Target), and they’re looking to open in late summer or early fall. Like most other Potbelly shops there will also be live music during lunch.
Hamra says he’s still “waiting for the final drawings to start the construction process,” but, he continues, “Once permitting is complete, the build out should take between 9 to 12 weeks.”
My tongue anxiously awaits you, Potbelly.