Subway is Down But Not Out on Baltimore Avenue

At 46th & Baltimore in West Philly, Subway is closed, but Jared and his gang still have plans to sell sandwiches at this location. The original franchise operator has left and Subway is looking for another, according to Barry Grossbach, Spruce Hill Community Association zoning chair.

Shuttered Subway

“I could only tell you I asked the zoning attorney on our zoning committee to see what he could find out,” Grossbach said. “Evidently, and this is the only thing we know, they [Subway] are looking for another franchise operator.”

When the Subway proposal came before the SHCA two years ago after the sandwich chain announced plans to take over a long-vacant corner location at 4533 Baltimore Ave. along the Baltimore Avenue Commercial Corridor, a handful of neighbors decried the proposal because of fears: traffic and big business. First, customers would create parking issues; it's located next to an alley and driveways behind 46th Street homes, they envisioned hungry Subway shoppers zipping down in cars on their way to and from work. Then was the fact Subway is a chain franchise as opposed to an independent small business, on a corridor full of the latter. The store opened in the spring of 2012, entering into a 10-year lease.

Looking up Baltimore Avenue

“We looked at that as a financial anchor on this section of Baltimore Ave.,” Grossbach said about Subway.

“No,” he said about parking, or issues with cars in the alley. “We haven't heard anything. Those places are all walk-in places,”  he added. He said each business that has attempted to occupy this commercial space failed within six months.

So while Subway is closed for now, five-dollar foot longs seem as though they'll return sometime this winter. Whether the next owners can make it work long term however, remains to be seen.