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Toasted Sub Shop Makes Plans for a Beer & Wine Bar at Tempe Location

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 17:08

Cheba Hut

Tiera Allen, College Times

The Tempe Cheba Hut will soon be more than just a place to go when you have the munchies.

As soon as the toasted sub establishment hears back from the City of Tempe about the status of its liquor license, it plans to immediately start building a bar in the back of the restaurant. 

Store manager Michael Lenox said opening a bar was something the restaurant has wanted to do for a long time and is excited to finally get the ball rolling.

“All the Cheba Hut’s in Colorado have bars and do very well,” Lenox. “It adds an extra element.”

The Tempe Cheba Hut location, just outside of the popular Mill Avenue District and its crush of Arizona State University students, has always been a challenge for business. Lenox said the license approval could be in as soon as August 9, and he’s excited about getting started on construction of the bar as a means to attract more customers.

“Our location is something that we kind of struggle with,” Lenox said. “I don’t see how this couldn’t help bring more people to the store.”

Even though Cheba Hut’s location isn’t the most favorable, Lenox feels confident that adding alcohol will help them overcome the disadvantage.

“I mean, it’s hard not to make money on Mill,” Lenox said. “But we are still just like one mile off.”

Lenox said if they can bridge the gap that the mile creates, he will be very pleased. The hope is that adding a bar will bring in more clientele, but Lenox feels the store’s charm will continue to be what brings patrons back.

“I think this could convince people to go that extra mile to Cheba Hut,” Lenox said. “At the end of the day, it is still our customer service and environment that will bring them back.”

 “I think people come in for our customer service and the experience,” he added.

Cheba Hut is only open until midnight, but that closing time is expected to be pushed back until 2 a.m. with the addition of alcohol.

Lenox feels that selling alcohol will make the Cheba Hut unique and set it apart from its competition.

“We will be one of a kind; a sub shop that has a bar,” Lenox said.

Live music is another way Lenox developed the Cheba Hut experience.

Right now, the shop hosts local musicians as often as possible, but Lenox said he is open to making live music more of a regular occurrence with the addition of the bar. He expects to exclusively sell beer and wine and is planning to sell a number of products from local breweries. A set list of drink options has not yet been decided.

The addition of the bar area is not the only change Cheba Hut has made to its Tempe location this year, which expanded its seating area in May.

Lenox said that the Mesa Cheba Hut also plans to open a bar.

Cheba Hut is located at 960 W. University Drive in Tempe. Its phone number is 480.446.0088, and its hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.

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