Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced today that its first shop in Columbia will be open to the public on Tuesday, July 25. The shop is located in Forum Development Group’s Broadway Bluffs at 2500 Broadway Bluffs Drive on East Broadway, near the intersection with Highway 63. The widely acclaimed neighborhood hangout features toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes and live music, all making it “The Best Place for Lunch.”

Restaurant and hospitality aficionado Evan Thomas will open this Columbia location. Thomas plans to give back to the local neighborhood with an oven-warming event on July 24, with proceeds going to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri. For a $6 donation, Oven Warming attendees will receive a sandwich, chips and a drink either during lunch hours, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., or dinner hours from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Reserve a meal here.

“Opening our first location here is definitely a cause for celebration,” Thomas said. “Since I worked at my first Potbelly shop in Chicago, I couldn’t wait to open my own location. Now, I’m ready to bring a great lunch experience and fun neighborhood vibe to families and students throughout Columbia.”

A Columbia native, Thomas brings nearly 20 years of restaurant and customer service experience to his new shop, including working as the general manager at numerous Potbelly corporate locations in Chicago. 

Thomas will manage the Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Columbia, which includes day-to-day operations, hiring new staff and booking local musicians who perform regularly at the shop. Hours of operation will be Mondays through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“With this opening, we’re looking forward to watching Evan make Potbelly the best place for lunch in Columbia,” said Chris Birkinshaw, senior director of domestic franchising for Potbelly Sandwich Shop. “With Evan’s background in the industry and his extensive experience at Potbelly locations in Chicago, he has what it takes to make his location a perfect fit for locals and students looking for their favorite new favorite sandwich shop.”

Potbelly Sandwich Shop first opened in Chicago in 1977, and operates more than 400 shops across the United States. Franchisees operate more than 35 shops in the United States and abroad, and Potbelly plans to continue franchise growth in 2017.

For additional information about joining the Potbelly team or to learn more about the new Columbia location, visit www.Potbelly.com.