By Lenny C. Lepola
When first dirt turned on the new Subway Restaurant, 747 West Cherry Street, Sunbury, owner Joann Hingsbergen installed a sign at the front of the property promising the store would open in late 2013. Last Wednesday evening, a small group of friends and employees gathered for a long overdue ribbon cutting ceremony and a soft opening.
The new Sunbury Subway has been in the works for a long time – at least two years. Hingsbergen owned the Subway Store in the old IGA Plaza, but leased the cramped 1,100 square foot space; and there was no drive-thru window and no room for expansion.
In early 2012 Hingsbergen attended a Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission meeting accompanied by realtor Martin Forman and requested a zoning change request from Industrial to C-2 Commercial for a 1.51 acre vacant tract at the intersection of West Cherry Street and Kintner Parkway.
After receiving the necessary zoning change, she began showing up at zoning meetings with her architect, Shawn Bogenrife of Bogenrife Architecture LLC.
Bogenrife’s drawings showed a 5,000 square foot structure – essentially a small plaza with 2,000 square feet dedicated to the Subway shop with a drive-thru window and 3,000 square feet of retail space serving one or two other clients. Hingsbergen said Sunbury-based Table Rock Construction would be the project’s general contractor.
First dirt was turned last September, and then winter hit – hard. Construction ground to a near halt at times, and interior furniture and fixtures were slow coming from Subway; but all that was behind Hingsbergen and her staff when the ribbon was cut last week.
“I’d like to thank all my friends and family, so many people have been praying for me,” Hingsbergen said before snipping the ribbon. “My architect Shawn Bogenrife understood what my vision was and he flew with it, and Table Rock Construction was fantastic. They put in the hours and took care of everything. They were very professional and accommodating, and did it all while holding my hand.
“I would also like to thank Ryan Jurden, my great manager and great friend, and my dedicated staff,” Hingsbergen continued. “I especially want to thank Martin Foreman for finding this property for me, and the Village of Sunbury for being in my corner during this whole project.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony there were two special first customers. When Hingsbergen opened her old Subway store, the late Terry Fravel was her first customer. The first customers through the line last Wednesday were Terry’s widow Karen and daughter Traci. They purchased sandwiches with money from Terry’s wallet.
“Terry was a good friend of mine,” Hingsbergen said. “He was my very first customer in my old store. It means so much to me that money was set aside from his wallet to make the first purchase here today.”
Hingsbergen said the new Sunbury Subway drive-thru would open in September. There are still items to set up to make it fully operational. There will also be free customer Wi-Fi.
Sunbury Subway is open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Hingsbergen said once the drive-thru is open there may be some later drive through-only hours.
Sunbury Subway is located at 747 West Cherry St. and online at www.sunburysubway.com. Hingsbergen said the Sunbury Subway phone number, 740-965-2244, remains the same from the previous store.