Firehouse Subs opens in Niles

Published 12:00 pm Monday, April 10, 2023

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NILES — A popular restaurant chain has opened its doors in the Niles community.

Firehouse Subs, 930 S. 11th St. Suite 300, welcomed its first customers Monday morning. The sub sandwich chain, which features hot specialty subs, salads, and other seasonal items, is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The business features sit-down seating as well as drive-thru capability. 

A Jacksonville, Florida-based chain founded in 1994 by a pair of firefighter brothers, Firehouse Subs serves approximately 1,200 locations across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Each location houses an unique mural featuring local community landmarks and fire departments.

Jeff and Tammie Williams, owners of the Niles location as well as the Mishawaka location, had been looking for a second location for years when the 11th. Street location became available.

“We were looking to open a second store,” he said. “We had several locations we were looking at and this location came available first. COVID slowed things down; there was not a lot of construction during COVID. We had hoped to be open a couple years ago.”

In the months leading up to the grand opening, the couple said the response they received from the community was positive.

“Our customers from Niles who go to Mishawaka are really excited for us to open,” Jeff said. “The mayor was very excited, the city and the fire department were really helpful and instrumental in getting us open. We’ve had a lot of great support from the community already.”

“Almost every day, if you have several people come by and just knock on the door and ask ‘when are you open,’” Tammie said. “It’s been that way for the last month, we’re very excited.”

A portion of each purchase at all U.S. Firehouse Subs locations go to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to be used to provide lifesaving equipment to first responders.

Since its inception in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has granted more than $67.5 million to provide equipment, training, and support to hometown heroes.

For the Williamses, who live in Berrien Springs, the grand opening of their Niles location is like a homecoming, of sorts.

“It’s very exciting,” Tammie said. “It’s almost overwhelming. We’re really excited to be here in Niles. For us, this is like home. We’re very excited to have this opening here in Michigan.”