BRIDGEPORT — As repairs and cleanup continue, residents will only need to wait a few more months to see Subway downtown open its doors once more.
If all goes well, franchise owner Dino Sakakini said the storefront is expected to be ready to be leased out within four months. The Trumbull resident said he has his eyes set on opening another Subway.
“We had a lot of people interested in the space, but I really wanted it to be a Subway store, because I started from Subway,” he said. “I want to see somebody who owns a Subway franchise come in there.”
A fire back in July closed the Main Street business at the corner of John Street, displacing workers and leaving minor damage to neighboring businesses.
The restaurant has been undergoing a lengthy repair process since the blaze, as Sakakini looks to get the location ready to be leased out by the summer.
A large portion of cleanup was dedicated to clearing out asbestos in the building. That process is expected to be finished by the end of the week.
During the cleanup, there have been a variety of prospective tenants looking to occupy the space at one of the downtown area’s busiest intersections. While Sakakini has been fielding different offers, the business owner is looking to bring in a tenant who can thrive in the storefront.
“I want a solid company to come in a rent the space,” Sakakini said, adding that he plans to continue his role as landlord while another franchisee runs the sandwich shop.
Sakakini opened the Subway franchise in 1989. He said he managed another location in Westport before setting out on his own.
When he first opened the location, Sakakini said he received support from the community, which helped the business thrive in that spot for years.
“Back in those days, there were a lot of people working downtown,” he said, adding that the foot traffic would keep the sandwich shop busy from open to close.
Members of the downtown business community are happy to see plans unfolding for the corner location.
According to Kelvin Ayala, owner of Moe’s Burger Joint, the reopening of Subway will bring an added boost to the business scene.
“Them reopening will help everyone,” said Ayala, who is also the member Chair for the Downtown Bridgeport Merchants Association.
According to Ayala, the storefront being closed since the summer has left a void along the corridor at a key location.
Along with the Subway franchise, Sakakini owns the Layla’s Falafel brand, which has five locations throughout Fairfield County. The family-run business has been serving Middle Eastern food for almost 20 years.
Sakakini recently opened an eatery in Westport in October, joining with the brands locations in Stamford, Fairfield and Trumbull.
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