Firehouse Subs, a Florida-based sub chain, has its sights set on opening four or five restaurants in the Erie market.
Construction is probably a few months away, but the company has met with interested franchisees and scouted locations with an area real estate agent, said Matt Liggett, an area representative and franchise owner.
“We are looking at some sights in the Millcreek shopping area on Peach Street and also down on 12th Street,” said Liggett, owner of a franchise that will be opened in Cranberry Township, Butler County.
Founded in 1994 by two firefighters, the chain has grown from 258 to 502 locations in the past five years.
Liggett said the company hopes to see that expansion accelerate. Firehouse plans to open 40 new locations in western Pennsylvania as it moves toward a goal of 2,000 restaurants in the next few years.
Firehouse locations, which typically seat 40 to 50 people, are classified as fast casual restaurants.
“It’s not your typical sub,” Liggett said. “You are not going to get your sandwich in 90 seconds. We steam the meat and cheese together so they are melted and the bun is toasted separately.”
Eight-inch subs typically sell for about $5.49. Liggett said the company’s top seller is the Hook & Ladder, a combination of smoked turkey, am with Monterrey Jack cheese.
Liggett hasn’t identified prospective store owners, but said interest is strong.
Possible locations include the Millcreek Marketplace development, he said.