Lenny's News and Interviews

The Daily Times - Blount County gets taste of Philly

March 24, 2008

Northeastern transplants to East Tennessee will find something familiar at Lenny's Sub Shop. The new eatery, which opened a little over a week ago on Hunters Crossing Drive in Alcoa, serves up authentic Philly Cheesesteaks and a variety of Philadelphia-style subs.

In 1979, Len and Sheila Moore started selling subs and cheesesteaks at their Sub King Restaurant on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey. Their restaurant was outrageously popular with tourists and locals who said they loved the great food and friendly atmosphere. Len Moore left the sub shop to lead a successful career in the restaurant industry, yet kept the desire to return to his sandwich making days.

After moving to Tennessee, the husband and wife team opened the original Lenny's Sub Shop in Bartlett, Tenn., to finance their daughter's college education in 1998. They also wanted to satisfy their cravings for authentic subs and Philly Cheesesteaks served in a real Philadelphia-style sub shop -- which they say was impossible to do in the Memphis area.

Originally, Lenny's was planned as a single-store concept, but based on the tremendous reception they received from guests, it wasn't long before the second, third and fourth locations were in the works.

Today, Lenny's Sub Shop has over 150 franchises opened and another 650 in development. The new Alcoa Lenny's is franchised by Maryville High School graduates Sean Norris and his sister Dianne Trosclair.

"I've been in computer and computer-related businesses since I got out of the University of Tennessee in 1980," Norris said. "My sister and I have been evaluating franchise opportunities for about five or six years.

"Lenny's started in Memphis and my sister was living there at the time. She was always talking about how fun it was and how good their food is, so we ended up buying the rights for Lenny's Sub Shops in Blount and Sevier counties.

"We already have plans for a second Blount County location out toward the hospital. Once we've built out Blount County, we plan to expand into Sevier County."

Norris and the 16 employees who work at Lenny's Sub Shop in Alcoa say they were surprised at the amount of business the shop did in its first week of operation. Norris said that, based on his first week of sales, the Alcoa location will be in the top 15 to 20 locations in the entire chain after just two weeks of business.

"Our first week has been great-- really good," Norris said. "We had a great opening and we've been extremely pleased."

Known for its oversized portions, Lenny's Sub Shop offers a classic Philly Cheesesteak and a variety of subs including the Italian Sub, Club Sub and even a Veggie Sub along with selection of sandwiches and salads.

The new 2,000-square-foot restaurant, located at 1145 Hunters Crossing Drive beyond the Lowe's store, is opened Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager
(901) 753-4002