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Chicago’s Potbelly Sandwich Shop Opens Toronto Flagship

Toronto Retail

Potbelly Sandwich Shop just opened its first Canadian location at 83 Yonge St, and Bisnow dropped by last week's launch event for a taste of what's in store. We snapped Rami Kozman of The Behar Group, PotBelly's Canada rollout rep, with bro David Kozman, president of Halsted Hospitality, Potbelly’s Canadian franchisee. Rami tells us the shop sits in a sweet spot to serve financial district workers as well as commuters and tourists on Yonge. “Plus it’s part of old Toronto," he says, noting the 2,300 SF restaurant occupies the base of Dream’s 1857 Tin And Copper Smith Building, with original floor tile, brick and ceiling. "It syncs well with Potbelly’s retro-vintage brand.”


“There’s a gap in the Toronto market for a good sandwich,” David tells us, and folks are willing to pay a “buck or two more” for Potbelly’s high-quality Chicago-style fare. Its an inviting atmosphere, too, including decor that reflects the surrounding community (photos of old Toronto adorn the walls) and a local musician playing acoustic guitar throughout the day. A second Potbelly opens in January at 180 Bloor St W (across from the ROM) and a third will follow in the food court of redeveloping Yonge-Sheppard Centre. Rami says the plan is to ultimately expand Potbelly farther into the GTA and beyond, “but we wanted home runs for the first three locations.”