Popular pizza chain is closing soon, but iconic toasted sandwich shop is moving into the space

Sav McKee

Even though a popular place for affordable pizza is closing, you’ll still be able to grab a concoction of bread, cheese, tomatoes, and meat. Just, in sandwich form instead.

After departing about a decade ago, Potbelly sandwiches is coming back to The University District again, according to Royal Restaurant Group. By the end of the year, it will open in the space that currently houses a Papa John’s Pizza at 2108 N. High St., which will be closing in the next two months. 

Randy Pianin, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Restaurant Group, said that he was looking for a new spot for Potbelly that was accessible to students, and a place with a lot of foot traffic. “Many of our target demographics are students like those at OSU; and we knew it would be the perfect place to offer Potbelly’s extensive menu and sides, no matter when hunger strikes,” said Pianin.


Pianin said he’s excited to be back on campus after leaving for a while. “We always want to be in front of where our customers are, and introducing our fifth Potbelly location to the Columbus area at the center of OSU’s campus is the perfect place to make that happen.”

“We’re looking forward to growing even further with the brand in the years to come,” said Pianin.

Back in November of last year, Royal Restaurant Group and Potbelly announced a completion of a 40-unit development agreement throughout Ohio and Florida, including developing new shops throughout Columbus. 

Potbelly first opened in Chicago in 1977 in an old antique store, utilizing the antique oven already there to create concoctions of warm, toasty sandwiches. Since then, this iconic neighborhood sandwich concept, Potbelly, has expanded to 430 more shops in the United States.

Their menu features loaded toasted subs, large salads, soups, chips, cookies, and even mac & cheese and milkshakes.

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