VENICE — It’s out with the old and in with the new as work continues on Jacaranda Plaza.
Contractors are working on a tight timeline as they prepare to open the first Jersey Mike’s Subs in June. It will join the growing number of restaurants in the plaza, Kumo’s Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar, Mojos Real Cuban, Norma Jeans Sports Bar & Grill, The Steak House Grill and Bonefish Grill.
Frank and Nancy Czafzynfki are the owners of the new location. It is their fifth Jersey Mike’s on the Suncoast joining those in Bonita Springs, Port Charlotte and 2 in Fort Myers.
The couple are doing grass roots marketing and canvassing ahead of the restaurant’s opening. Frank and Nancy will distribute about 10,000 free sub cards in and around Venice, with a $2 donation to the Venice Challenger Baseball.
Czafzynki’s new restaurant will have 29 seats inside, with additional seating outside. Czafzynki’s plan is to hire 15 to 20 local people to help run the new restaurant, though the location’s manager will be transferring from another location.
“Mercedes Monroe is the new store manager transferring from another of location.” said Czafzynfki.
“Great at what she can do, she has been with the company for some years. We always promote from within our company.”
Their signature dish, ‘the Sub Above made Mike’s way’ is a fresh sliced and grilled sub on freshly baked bread— it’s been made following the same recipe since 1956.
The same principles have also been followed since 1956, which includes fresh vegetables prepared every day, they still cook their own beef and bake fresh bread every day.
Czafzynfki encourages people to come in to watch them make the subs from start to finish as they stand in front of them. Most popular among the many hot subs is Mike’s famous Philly cheese steaks together with a wide selection of cold subs.
They sell only Pepsi products, Gatorade, bubbles, sodas, iced tea, but no coffee.
“I am an operator behind the counter with my hat and apron on in all my restaurants all the time,” he said.
“When I expand opening a store in Naples it will be a promotion opportunity into management for an employee.”
At 17, Czafzynfki started washing dishes in a restaurant. Subsequently he owned and operated Burger King’s for 25 years in New York and New Jersey, then partnered with a checkers restaurant for 2 years.
Joining Jersey Mikes 17 years ago he ran their company operations until 2 years ago. Now he still promotes corporate classes for the company.
Donating to charity plays a significant role and this past March the Czafzynfki’s restaurants gave $32,000 to Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Jersey Mike’s offers take-out, online ordering, third-party deliveries and outside catering for up to 1,000 — It operates daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., except on Christmas.
Jacaranda Plaza was acquired by Benderson Development of Lakewood Ranch a few years ago and it has undergone the complete standard company renovation and upgrading. Jersey Mike’s will be the newest tenant to join the already changing plaza along U.S. 41 Bypass.
Work continues on the southern end of the plaza, where the former K-Mart building has been reduced to the basic original design. When the renovation of the former K-Mart is complete, it will open as a Lucky’s Market.
The new Jersey Mike’s Subs, 1665 U.S. 41 Bypass, Venice, is expected to open June 19.