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Med City Potbelly Sandwiches to close downtown location to focus on northwest shop

The owners of Rochester’s pair of Potbelly Sandwich Shops announced on social media on Thursday that Sept. 23, 2022 will be the final day of operation for the original downtown location at 318 First Ave. SW in the 318 Commons building.

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Sakura Hines, left, cashes out a customer on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2021, at Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Northwest Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo
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ROCHESTER — A popular local sandwich shop is closing the doors of its downtown Rochester location to focus on its growing restaurant in the northwest quadrant.

The owners of Rochester’s pair of Potbelly Sandwich Shops announced on social media on Thursday that Sept. 23, 2022, will be the final day of operation for the original downtown location at 318 First Ave. SW in the 318 Commons building.

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The Potbellys shop at 3801 Marketplace Drive NW will remain open. It is located in a commercial building next to Rochester’s north Target and Lane Bryant. There will be no employee layoffs as the downtown staff will shift to the northwest store.

“The last three years have been fraught with struggle, including persistent and complex workforce challenges. We are now at a crossroads – the expiration of both our franchise agreement and lease for this location presented the opportunity to simplify,” according to the social media post. “Our energies will now be fully focused on our northwest location, where we will continue to proudly serve you, including our beloved downtown regulars.”

The restaurant opened downtown in the summer of 2013.

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Co-owner Erin Nystrom said this is a positive move for the local Potbelly franchise.

“Our sales at the Marketplace location are exceeding expectations, so the Marketplace staff is excited to have the downtown employees added to the team,” she wrote. “Overall, everyone is feeling great about this.”

The Marketplace location opened in 2019 in a new retail building that also houses Leeann Chin, an Asian cuisine restaurant.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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