Penn Station East Coast Subs has quickly expanded in Middle Tennessee.
On Friday, Lebanon became the latest home for the sandwich shop as it unveiled its operation for area diners.
“It’s always exciting,” managing owner Jason Day said of opening a new location. “We’re introducing a whole new fan base to a great concept.”
Day has two partners who are in Louisville, Kentucky, and they collectively own NV Ventures, which consists of 13 Penn Station locations in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. The first of those area locations opened in Murfreesboro in the early 2000s, and there’s now two locations in Murfreesboro. The others are in Franklin, Dickson, Madison, Tullahoma, Hermitage, Bellevue, Clarksville, Hendersonville, Shelbyville and Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Lebanon store is the sixth Penn Station location that has been launched by NV Ventures over the past 15 months, since October of 2020.
“We came down in March of 2020, and we were circling Nashville,” Day — who said that Friday’s opening has been planned since last May — said. “We looked at the interstates and travel. Lebanon is kind of that stopping point, between Nashville and Cookeville.
“There’s a lot out this way. It seems to be a popping area. It seems to be an area that is growing.”
NV Ventures is growing as well. In addition to the Lebanon location, three other Penn Station shops are expected to open in the Nashville area this year. One of those will open in Smyrna in February.
There are more than 300 Penn Station locations that span 14 states, including Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
“I’ve done this 15 or 16 years now, since 2005,” Day said. “I love the brand.
“No one knows what Penn Station is. We get to introduce them to it. Our food is just better than most sandwich places.”
Penn Station — which was founded in Cincinnati in 1985 — serves hot and cold deli sandwiches, including what Day says stands out in the Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich. It also has wraps and salads that are made to order, in addition to fresh-cut fries, hand-squeezed lemonade and chocolate-chunk cookies that are baked daily.
“It’s the best cheesesteak you’re going to find this far from Philly,” Day said.
On Thursday, the restaurant — which is located at 348 South Cumberland St. (across from Whitt’s Barbecue) — invited first responders in for lunch as a final tune-up for Friday’s opening.
The Lebanon location will consist of more than 20 employees and will be open from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday.
“We are excited to bring Penn Station to Lebanon,” Day said. “We’re growing quickly in Middle Tennessee, and Lebanon is a great market for Penn Station. We think our hot and cold sandwiches, fresh-cut fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade will stand out from the competition.”