Fresh is the name of the game at Penn Station East Coast Subs. Columbia residents can now enjoy the taste of fresh Philadelphia-style sub sandwiches in a causal restaurant without traveling to the City of Brotherly Love.
Owners Sean Bell and Rick Marquart opened Columbia’s first Penn Station East Coast Subs in early February. Bell worked for Marquart in Washington, Mo., prior to partnering with him for this venture. Their goal is to open two additional restaurants in the area in the next two years.
Bell, who serves as managing owner and general manager, says he first experienced Penn Station subs while in college at one of the restaurant chain’ St. Louis. “I really loved the food and I was interested in owning my own business, so I reached out to Rick and we became business partners,” he says. “I’m excited to open the first location and introduce Penn Station to the residents of Columbia.”
In a time when so many foods are highly processed, Penn Station offers all fresh ingredients. “That’s the whole reason why I’m opening this restaurant — these sandwiches are very different,” Bell said. “They are unique because they are grilled, and we offer fresh-cut fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade, which really separates us from the competition.”
Penn Station also bakes its own bread daily and has 14 different sub sandwich options. The Philly Cheese Steak is the most popular sandwich, though Bell says is partial to the Italian. Aside from the 14 menu subs, customers can also order the Dagwood, which allows them to build their own sandwich.
Besides serving fresh products, Bell says Penn Station is a simpler restaurant and offers patrons a welcoming atmosphere with earth tones in the decor. It is deemed a fast-causal restaurant in that it only takes four to six minutes to receive food, but customers feel welcome to stay and dine as long as they would like.
Bell relocated to Columbia to open Penn Station. “Honestly, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think it was a good product,” he says. “I hope it does well, and I am excited to share it with the community.”
Penn Station East Coast Subs
203 E. Nifong Blvd., Suite D
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.