An institution beloved by Highland Park residents and SMU coeds is back from the dead: New York Sub, the Park Cities sub shop that closed in October 2014, reopened via a surprise rescue from white knight Andrew Kelley.
Kelley, who attended Kendall College in Chicago and has been cooking and managing in the food-service industry in Chicago and Dallas for 15 years, was one of many customers with fond memories of the original. He brags that it was he who ate the last sub there before it closed in 2014.
"For me, there are just some restaurants that should always be open — Kuby’s, Bubba’s, Burger House, and New York Sub," he says.
The shop had been open for 40 years, until previous owner Ken Harkness announced the closure in 2014. Harkness, who grew up in the Northeast, opened New York Sub in 1974 and grew the chain to eight branches before consolidating back to one.
After closing, Harkness, who not only owned the restaurant but also the building, leased the space to Project Pie, a pizza chain that had big designs on the area. When Project Pie abruptly pulled out of Dallas in March 2016, Kelley stepped in to bring NY Sub back.
He's kept many of the sub shop's original signature decorative elements, including the retro magnetic menu board and the exterior neon sign, the only one in Highland Park, grandfathered in.
But the interior now has a vintage charm, thanks to Kelley's designer mom, Pam. The building was taken down to the studs, revealing a brick wall, which was left exposed. "New" furniture was bought at auction.
He's also given the menu an update. While the lineup of sandwiches and the creamy oil-and-vinegar dressing are the same, the ingredients are now organic and non-GMO, with bread sourced from Village Baking Co.
The reopening drew a warm welcome from fans on Facebook.
"Ate there on Day 1!" wrote one customer. "Still got a #14 no cheese. Awesome as always. So glad you're back."