Penn Station (restaurant)
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|Jeff Osterfeld, Founder|
Penn Station is a chain of East Coast sub restaurants found throughout the South and Midwest United States. The first restaurant was opened in 1985 by Jeff Osterfeld in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently, Penn Station has over 300 locations in 15 states.
The concept for an East Coast sub restaurant came to Jeff Osterfeld soon after he graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 1983, he opened "Jeffrey's Delicatessen" at Dayton Mall in Dayton, Ohio. It was during a trip to Philadelphia that he first realized the popularity of the cheesesteak sandwich. He began selling a version of the cheesesteak sandwich at his own restaurant, and it instantly became a huge hit.
He eventually expanded to Cincinnati, where he opened his first Penn Station restaurant in 1985. Originally, only four sandwiches were available, including the cheese steak. However, this first restaurant also offered fresh-cut french fries and freshly squeezed lemonade, two items that would become trademarks for Penn Station in the future.
By 1987, Osterfeld had opened several Penn Station restaurants in and around Cincinnati. He began selling franchises that year and restaurants soon opened in St. Louis, Louisville, and Nashville. Today, Penn Station has become a large chain across the South and Midwest, with 308 restaurants currently open.
In 2007, Penn Station was ranked #196 on Entrepreneur Magazine's list of the Top 500 International Franchises. In 2005, Penn Station was ranked #145. The rankings are based primarily on financial strength and stability, and the system's growth rate and size.
Penn Station serves 14 types of subs, ranging from its trademark Philly Cheesesteak sub to the "create it yourself" Dagwood. All sandwiches are made to order in front of the customer. Sandwiches are offered in 5 sizes: a kid's size is 4 inches long, a lite is 6 inches long, small is 8 inches, a medium is 10 inches, and a large is 12 inches.
Recently, Penn Station has started offering fresh salads, following a trend in providing healthier menu options. The salads, like the sandwiches, are made fresh. They are simply a "bread-less" version of a particular sandwich.
Another newly offered item is the Hot-Grilled Wraps, which, much like the salads, can transform any sandwich into a wrap.
For a short while, Penn Station tested soups at a few restaurants. There were two different kinds of soups a day, and every two days two different soups were available. The soups did not sell well enough, and the idea was abandoned.
- "History". Penn Station. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- Rose, Julie (2010-05-19). "Penn Station East Coast Subs in Loveland celebrates 16 years" (Press release). Mahan Advertising (Cincinnati.com). Retrieved 2010-05-24.