September 2006

Lunch at Larry’s Giant Subs

Author: Melinda Copp

When it comes to lunch, fast often means sacrificing freshness and taste. However, Larry’s Giant Subs has managed to marry these mealtime qualities by offering a lunch experience that takes less than an hour – and that’s if you dine in. In fact, Larry’s goal is to provide customers with a good meal at a reasonable price, with time to make it back to work before breaktime ends.

“If you’re just picking up a sandwich, you can be in and out in less than 10 minutes,” said Larry’s Giant Subs owner, Mike Ross. “And if you eat in, you can be done in under 40.”

The dining area is spacious and casual, and the walls are decked with classic movie posters and sports memorabilia. There are arcade games in the back to keep kids busy. And the Larry’s Giant Subs trademark King Kong gorilla statue towers over diners who’ve stopped in for lunch.

Even during tourist season, Larry’s caters to many regular customers and a working crowd. Those who know Larry’s, rave about their sandwiches.

“We get a lot of construction crews, landscape crews, people in real estate,” said Ross. “And around 3:30, we get a rush of restaurant and hotel people stopping in to grab lunch on their way to work.”

Larry’s Giant Subs has an extensive menu with something to offer for everyone. As the name suggests, they are most known for their big sandwiches. According to Ross, the reubens and cheese steaks are two of the biggest sellers.

The menu includes more than 50 subs, deli-style sandwiches and salads, plus desserts, bottled and fountain beverages and sides. The subs come in eight- and 12-inch varieties with a choice of wheat or white bread. For health-conscious diners, several sandwiches are designated Kong’s Lite Delights because they contain fewer than seven grams of fat. They also offer low-carb wraps. Nutritional information for all the menu items is available on the corporate website, www.larryssubs.com.

Two brothers, Mitch and Larry Raikes, opened the first Larry’s Giant Subs in Jacksonville FL in 1982. Now there are more than 100 restaurants throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. For Ross and his wife, a Larry’s Giant Subs franchise was a no-brainer. His sister and brother-in-law own one, which gave them the opportunity to see what the business was like in action. Hilton Head Island proved to be an ideal location for the couple to start their business, and Ross takes an active role in the day-to-day functions of the restaurant.

“I’m here every day running the register and making sandwiches,” said Ross. When I first caught up with him, he was turning on the lights at 7:30 a.m. and getting ready for a delivery truck.

“My favorite part of owning a restaurant is that I get to make decisions and see things happen,” said Ross, who is originally from Philadelphia. “Before I was always an employee.” September will mark their third year in business.

If you’re craving fresh veggies, warm bread and top-quality meats and dressings, Larry’s Giant Subs has a sandwich for you. And it’s served fast, so even if you have to get back to work, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the food.

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