Jon Smith Subs in Springfield has reopened under a new name - Grill Time Express.
The business officially changed names about a week and a half ago, according to owner Kim Walden.
“Business has started to pick up again since then,” Walden said.
Located in Park Shopping Center on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield, the sandwich restaurant opened in June of last year as a Jon Smith Subs franchise, and was the first franchise in Ohio for the Florida-based chain.
However, Walden said the business struggled, and was on the verge of closing its doors.
“We were either going to part with the chain or we were going to have to close,” Walden said.
That’s when she said she decided to open the restaurant under a new name, and with an updated menu.
“We still have some of the sandwiches, but we only offer four: steak, tuna, chicken and turkey,” Walden said. “We also now have new stuff like quesadillas and gyros.”
The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Jon Smith Subs for comment about the change, and whether they plan to bring another franchise to the state.
“It was a mutual parting and the brand does plan to reopen a location in Ohio,” the company said in a statement. However, it remains unclear when and where the company will open another location.
Walden said wanting to expand the menu also played into her decision to leave the franchise. Under Jon Smith Subs, Walden was not allowed to add additional things to the pre-set menu.
“We wanted to be able to add extra things,” Walden said. “And we have had quite a few new things. It’s helped get more business.”
The restaurant, at 1013 N. Bechtle Ave., seats about 45 customers and is open seven days a week. It also accepts call-in orders and offers delivery through the third party food delivery service Door Dash.
According to the sandwich chain’s website, their first store opened in 1988 in Palm Beach County, Fla. The chain also has, or is planning to open, locations in California, Texas, Las Vegas and Virginia.