Photo: Art Sidner
Mankato: Jersey Mike’s Subs
“I grew up everywhere,” said 58-year-old owner Kevin Bores in a telephone interview. “I was born in Anchorage into an Air Force family. I grew up primarily in the South and graduated from high school in Ohio.” He went on to Bowling Green State University to study political science and become a lawyer. Bores had been raised in a family used to dinner table debate: his father was a bedrock Republican; his mother, a Roosevelt Democrat.
To pay his way through college, Bores worked at a pizza restaurant, and later at a Domino’s where he planned on saving money to attend law school. It never happened.
“Domino’s was just starting to grow exponentially then,” he said. “I just got caught up in the company and had an opportunity to franchise and come to Mankato in 1980 to build the original Domino’s here.” In part, he picked Mankato because of the recommendation of an ex-MSU student who was a Domino’s assistant manager in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
By 1985, he owned six Domino’s. “I then started looking at other concepts and found Subway, which had about 100 stores. I seem to have an affinity for finding concepts with very good legs. I thought there was a void here for sandwich chains and thought Subway would break that open.”
With a partner, he brought Subway to Mankato. In 1995, he and his partner traded ownership, so that Bores owned Domino’s and his partner, Subway. Before selling his last Domino’s in 2009, he had twelve. He also started one of the first BW3s in the nation.
Now he has his first Jersey Mike’s. Bores said, “Fast food has been around 60 years and always been quick and cheap. Now we’re starting to see fast food transition to higher quality, with places like Chipotle, Pinera Bread, and Five Guys. Jersey Mike’s Subs has sandwiches that are a cut above. I’ve heard people say, ‘Jersey Mike’s is to Subway what Chipotle is to Taco Bell.’”
Two examples of being a “cut above”: Bores said their vegetables are sliced fresh each morning; and rather than pre-cooked cryovac meat for sandwiches, Jersey Mike’s uses an Angus seven-pound beef shoulder cooked each morning medium rare.
Jersey Mike’s subs
Address: 1924 Adams Street