Dining: Jimmy John’s closes in Rome as sandwich wars escalate while pandemic pressures worsen.

Dining: Jimmy John’s closes in Rome as sandwich wars escalate while pandemic pressures worsen.

 

The scene outside the former Jimmy John’s location at Charles Hight Square on Wednesday afternoon. Hometown photo.

 

It was fall 2014 and Charles Hight Square off Turner McCall and Fifth Avenue was happening. The buzz associated today with East Bend and all the openings there has yet to match the arrival of Publix, La Parrillla, Ichiban, Sweet Frog, Happy Wok and a trendy shop that specialized in cold subs with clever names and even better ingredients. Jimmy John’s was coming to Rome and, like many new restaurants, the lines were forming.

More than six years later, the signs are down and the shop mostly vacated as the franchisees had enough. A note on the door shared on social media say the pandemic proved to be too much.

Jimmy John’s’ Rome location closes even as the competition is growing. Just across the parking lot, Publix Super Market’s deli counter offers some of the best subs in town. Weekly specials make them even more alluring. Add in Firehouse Subs, just down Turner McCall near Blue Fin. Or Subway. Or Panera. Or Doug’s Deli Downtown. Or Duffy’s Deli. OrĀ Schroeder’s. Or Jamwich. Or the newly opened McAlister’s Deli at East Bend.

In coming months, another national player is due — Jersey Mike’s also at East Bend — which is benefitting from a major national advertising campaign.

Be it COVID or competition, Jimmy John’s has left the Rome market as a tough year comes to an end.

 

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