Texans who haven't yet heard of Jon Smith Subs soon will. The first Jon Smith Subs in Texas has opened in Fort Worth, near Interstate 30 and Camp Bowie Boulevard. Next, Jon Smith Subs are expected to pop up in Southlake and Spring (north of Houston), with more than a dozen on the way across the U.S.
The company is named for a real guy named Jon Smith, "an adventurist," the Texas franchisees call him, who flies planes, rides motorcycles and played in a band. Smith started the first Jon Smith Subs in Florida in 1988 and has more recently franchised the business; it's expected to expand as far as Australia.
The fast-casual shops sell marinated chicken and beef sub sandwiches with sides of french fries served in a cup. A small fry comes in a small drink cup. Large fry? Large cup.
When asked why Jon Smith is right for a Texas audience, franchisee Tony King says "It's something new. It breaks the typical Subway/Jimmy John's/Jersey Mike's mold."
"I think it caters to a more discerning customer."
King and his wife Aleeta King live in Burleson and hope to open as many as 10 Jon Smith Subs in Dallas-Fort Worth, mostly in Tarrant County. They are franchising The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill across North Texas, too.
Fort Worth's new Jon Smith Subs, open as of Aug. 1, 2018, took over half of a 7-Eleven at 2812 Horne St. It's "a very busy, busy intersection," Aleeta says. "People have to sit at that light sometimes 3 or 4 minutes," she says. It's good for (free) advertising.
Aleeta recommends the maple bacon chicken sub, which is topped with provolone cheese, lettuce tomato. Tony likes the steak bomb, which is noted on the menu as "the one that made us famous": a steak sandwich with onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes and provolone.
They should know: "We tried practically every single thing on that menu," Aleeta says.