Sunday, March 16, 2014

Subway to Open New Cafe on South Topeka Boulevard

Today (Sunday March 16, 2014) I had a chance to attend a VIP preview of the new Subway Cafe in Topeka. So what is Subway Cafe? Subway Cafés leverage the chain's partnership with Seattle's Best (owned by Starbucks) to offer more of a coffeehouse ambiance. The set up is basically the same, as any other Subway, as customers can still come in and order their sandwich the way they always have. But Subway Cafés include some baked goods, dessert items and a full line of espresso-based creations. While any given Subway Café may include the $5 Footlong deal, premium beverages such as espressos, lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, teas, chai options, hot cocoa, and even a handful of frozen options are offered as part of Subway Café's menu. One thing to note here is that menu options may vary slightly from Cafe location to Cafe location.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Although this is a new concept in Topeka proper, it is not the first of this concept in the area. The Subway in the Pauline area of Topeka is also a Subway Cafe.
Over all there are 15 subways in the Topeka market, 13 of which are owned by the same franchisees. With this new location being among those 13. The address of the new location is 3217 sw Topeka Blvd and will open on St. Patrick's Day March 17, 2014 at 11 am. The hours of the new location will be 7 am - 10 pm and will include a drive-thru.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

With so many people worried about Gluten Free diets, we wondered if they had any Gluten Free offerings. Subway is test marketing the idea in Dallas. The biggest concern is how to avoid cross contamination, which could be deadly for those with celiac disease. One possible salutation is a separate oven to bake the gluten free bread in. Then another issue on the same note is the prep area. All of these issues have to be addressed and figured out before Subway can roll out this option nationally. The Topeka owners are unsure when that might happen.
Subway Cafe employees Christopher Ortega,
Danielle Sparks and Jasmine Boyd
wait on customers with a smile.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
During our time at the VIP preview, we sampled the Carrot Cake Muffin, which both of us thought was so good. With a carrot cake like taste and crumb top, it was melt in your mouth delicious, and the strawberry smoothie we sampled was superb also.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
One other feature of this location is a meeting room that the restaurant plans to rent out free with $75 in purchases from the menu board (drinks, sandwiches or pastry items).  I certainly expect that my wife and I will be back to this location in the near future.
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh
The restaurant is handicapped accessible, however the ramp is on the Payless Shoe side. The owners told my wife and I that they do want to ask the landlord about placing another curb-cut on their end to help those with mobility issues.

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