I honestly can't remember the last time I had a sub at Suburbia. It's possible I ate one before it was sold off in 1982, or maybe between 1990 and 1993, when the chain had three locations. I'm pretty sure I didn't try the store at 735 N. Plankinton Ave. when it existed between 1996 and 1998. And I know I haven't eaten at the current locations at 10863 W. Bluemound Rd. or at the one in Waukesha -- but I'm told they're really good.
That's why I've been a little excited for the new location at 2264 N. Prospect Ave. to open, as we reported on April 17. We can see the place from our office, and the painted window saying that it's "coming soon" tempts our taste buds with the prospect (pardon the pun) of new lunch options.
A day later, the Journal Sentinel reported that owner William J. Foley, who spent a year in jail in 1998 for failing to pay state sales taxes, expected to open "next week."
"We're very excited to be back on the East Side, and we're looking forward to it because it was such fun," he told the paper.
But it sure doesn't look like much work is going into the spot. I haven't yet seen a light on inside the space. And finally, today, I called the Mayfair-area store and had this not-so-enlightening conversation with the guy who answered the phone:
Me: "Hi, do you know when your East Side store is opening?"
Employee: "No idea."
Me: "Is there anyone in the store who might know?"
So, there you go. No obvious work being done, and six months to the day after we first saw the sign, the chain (and you have to use that word loosely at this point) that announced in 2005 that an unnamed group of investors planned to open 20 locations, stands at just two.
Apparently, in 1969, the Suburpia on the East Side was the place to be, and people still really dig their sandwiches. But for the meantime, I guess I won't know until the next time I take a drive out west.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.