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Winslow eatery to become a Subway

Colagreco Deli joins the national chain ‘to make a profit,’ the owner says.

The island is about to see its first national fast-food franchise in 15 years, as the owners of a downtown deli turn their eatery into a Subway sandwich shop.

Larry Schoeberl says he and co-owner Patrick Winslade hope to increase patronage at what is now known as Colagreco Italian Style Deli, the Winslow Mall eatery they purchased last year.

“The goal is to make a profit and generate business,” Schoeberl said. “We opened the deli a year ago, and it hasn’t generated enough business for a profit.”

City Planning Director Larry Frazier determined this week that the plan does not violate the city’s zoning ordinance, which restricts “formula take-out food restaurants” to an area on High School Road east of the highway.

The legality of that ordinance – passed after McDonald’s arrived in 1989, to ward off other national chains – has been challenged several times over the years, but has never been ruled on by a judge.

In a letter to the applicants this week, Frazier cited four areas in which the eatery, while flying under the Subway corporate banner, will differ from others in the chain, including:

• The business will offer beer and wine, expanded breakfasts and espresso, items not generally available at other Subway eateries;

• The exterior will remain unchanged except for signage, avoiding the standard Subway corporate colors;

• Signs will reflect city codes and design guidelines, with no backlit plastic panels or letters;

• The interior will not follow typical Subway layout or decor, with barstool seating and local artwork instead.

“We looked at the facts,” Frazier said. “It appears that they don’t rise to the level of a formula fast-foot (franchise).”

Frazier’s determination is subject to appeal, which would trigger a review by the city hearing examiner.

The eatery was started some nine years ago as Gabrielli Deli, and operated under that name until owner Mike Gabrielli sold to Schoeberl and Winslade in April 2003.

Friday, Schoeberl said he has heard more positive comments than negative about the pending change.

Schoeberl said he believes the new store will fill a demand, citing customers who have traveled to Poulsbo to eat at a Subway franchise there.

Staff writer Tina Lieu contributed to this report.

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