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New DeLand Subway opens; another business to occupy old eatery

NOW OPEN — A new Subway restaurant opened Nov. 1 at 1204 N. Woodland Blvd., next door to its longtime former home (brown building on the left in this photo). It seats more than three times as many customers as its former location, which will be renovated and leased to another, as-yet-unnamed company.

NOW OPEN — A new Subway restaurant opened Nov. 1 at 1204 N. Woodland Blvd., next door to its longtime former home (brown building on the left in this photo). It seats more than three times as many customers as its former location, which will be renovated and leased to another, as-yet-unnamed company.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

BRIGHT AND AIRY — The interior of the new Subway shop follows design and amenities guidelines the parent company introduced earlier this year, including several self-order kiosks, colors inspired by fresh vegetables, and a roomier dining area.

BRIGHT AND AIRY — The interior of the new Subway shop follows design and amenities guidelines the parent company introduced earlier this year, including several self-order kiosks, colors inspired by fresh vegetables, and a roomier dining area.

SELF-ORDER STATIONS — Customers in the new Subway eatery can order and pay for their food before they even get in line, just by using one of these self-order machines. A similar kiosk is in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.

SELF-ORDER STATIONS — Customers in the new Subway eatery can order and pay for their food before they even get in line, just by using one of these self-order machines. A similar kiosk is in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.

After several months of delays, a new, 55-seat Subway restaurant on North Woodland Boulevard finally opened a little more than a week ago on Nov. 1.

Wes Bennett, a principal in the franchising company Florida Sub Systems Inc., said weather was the biggest factor in delaying the scheduled summer opening.

“The storm delayed us a little bit, and there were construction-site issues and a lack of power,” Bennett said. Despite the delays, however, “it turned out very nice.”

The new eatery at 1204 N. Woodland Blvd. includes everything Bennett promised it would in an interview earlier this year, most notably a drive-thru accessed from Mandarin Avenue on the north side of the property.

The drive-thru will allow customers to place their orders via a keypad at a kiosk, without talking to anyone inside. If paying with a credit card, Bennett said, the kiosk also can handle that without human intervention.

The kiosks, including several inside the restaurant, will remember the past three orders a customer made, potentially speeding up the ordering process even more, he said. Ordering also can be done in advance online.

The technology is especially popular with college students, Bennett said in the earlier interview.

The design changes follow the Subway Fresh Forward guidelines the parent company rolled out this summer. According to the company’s website, the “distinctive and welcoming space” uses a bright new color palette inspired by fresh vegetables.

“We’ve created a modern design that gives our guests choices — from how they order, to how they pick up their food, to how they enjoy their meal,” Subway’s Vice President of Operations Trevor Haynes (and now chief business development officer) says on the Web page. “The reactions from our guests, our franchisees and the Sandwich Artists have been incredibly positive.”

Several years ago, Bennett bought the property the new restaurant sits on because a city sewage lift station is at the west end of Mandarin Avenue. He had the property annexed into the city so he could connect to that lift station and have more than triple the seating he used to have.

The old restaurant, which is immediately to the south at 1200 N. Woodland, had only 17 seats because it’s on a septic tank and the county limited him to no more than that.

While Bennett once planned to raze the old eatery, a DeLand business owner approached him to lease the building. Bennett wouldn’t identify the business.

Once the old building is refurbished inside and out, the new business will relocate from wherever it is currently.

“It will be a better situation for us and for the city, which won’t have an empty lot sitting  there,” Bennett said.

Right now, there are no plans for renovations at Florida Sub Systems’ other Subways, which include one on Howland Boulevard near the Interstate 4 exit in Deltona, and two in Port Orange. The company also owns several Subway restaurants in Georgia.

- Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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