Subway is a fast-food restaurant known for offering customers customizable sandwiches, salads, and soups. With over 40,000 Subway stores in the world, the history of the sandwich shop is fascinating for many reasons.
Those who enjoy Subway may be wondering about the first Subway location, including where it was, whether it’s still open, and who opened it. I’ve done some digging, and here is what I have uncovered!
First Subway Location
The first Subway store was opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut. On August 28th, 1965, Subway was first opened by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck with the original name of “Pete’s Super Submarines” before being shortened to “Subway.” However, the first Subway store is no longer open in Connecticut.
For more information on the first Subway location, including when Subway became a franchise, if the Subway store is still open in Connecticut, and who started Subway, keep reading!
Where Was the First Subway Location?
According to the History of Subway, the first Subway store was opened on August 28, 1965, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Also, the first Subway location was named “Pete’s Super Submarines,” after co-founder Dr. Peter Buck, who gave the other owner, Fred DeLuca, a $1,000 loan to help open his submarine shop.
Initially, Buck and DeLuca set a goal to open 32 Subway stores within ten years.
Additionally, Dr. Peter Buck and Fred DeLuca would form the company Doctor’s Associates, Inc., which runs Subway today.
Moreover, the second Subway location to open was in Connecticut but located in Wallingford, around 30 miles away from the original Subway store.
When Was the First Subway Opened?
Subway was first opened on August 28, 1965. On the first day, Subway opened, it sold 312 sandwiches priced between $0.49 and $0.69.
When Did Subway Become a Franchise?
Subway became a franchise after the opening of the second Subway store in Wallingford, Connecticut.
By 1974, 16 Subway stores were operating within Connecticut, making Subway a franchise.
That said, Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck wanted to open 32 stores within ten years and realized they would not achieve their goal in time, so they franchised Subway to open more stores.
Subway is still franchised today, with the company owning none of its own stores but collecting 12.5% of each franchise’s weekly revenue.
Is the First Subway Location Still Open?
The first Subway location in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is no longer open.
However, there are other Subway locations within Bridgeport, including a new location opened in 2019 within downtown Bridgeport.
Who Opened the First Subway Location?
The first Subway was opened by Fred DeLuca, who was 17 years old at the time.
Back then, DeLuca wished to go to college and medical school, so he began the Subway business to make money to pay his fees.
To get started, DeLuca was loaned $1,000 by a family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, who had a Ph.D. in physics.
With that, the first Subway was named for Buck, “Pete’s Super Submarines,” as the restaurant’s specialty was submarine sandwiches.
Later, DeLuca and Buck went into business together and expanded the Subway business through franchising.
When Did Subway Open On the West Coast?
The first Subway to open on the West Coast was in 1978. That said, the Subway was opened in Fresno, California, and was also franchised.
Until then, Subway had been limited to the East Coast.
When Did Subway Become International?
Subway became an international franchise in December 1984 when it opened its first store in Bahrain.
After the Bahrain store, Subway opened a restaurant in Canada in 1986. The first Subway in the United Kingdom was opened in Brighton in 1996.
How Many Subway Locations Are There Today?
There are over 40,000 Subway franchises in the world, with over 20,000 of these located in the United States.
In 2007, Subway overtook McDonald’s for the number of locations in the United States. Also, there is a Subway located in 49 of 50 American states.
Is Subway Privately Owned?
Yes, Subway is a privately owned company operated by Doctors Associates, Inc.
Franchising allows Subway to have faster expansion and continue to open and operate stores all over the globe.