The Sub Shop Opens

In 2007 the J.P. Graziano Grocery opened a sub shop inside the 70-year-old store. The brainchild of fourth generation Jim who believed strongly that serving sandwiches could increase the store’s visibility in the neighborhood.  

“First I needed my father’s blessing. ‘This is your baby,’ Dad said, ‘everything is on you,’ as he peered over his glasses.” I’m not sure if he said this to discourage me or see how I would react but I ran with the idea.”

Word of mouth quickly spread through the neighborhood and we saw new faces every day. Before too long we had our first big order (60 sandwiches for a customer at the Board of Trade) which inspired us to add a catering business alongside the walk-in business. The menu expanded to include vegetarian options, soups, salads, and deserts like fresh-filled cannoli.

Customers ordering subs at the J.P. Graziano Grocery

Iconic Sandwiches & Apricot Expresso Gelatto

Jim Graziano helping a customer

Since opening the sub shop we have enjoyed great success and earned a loyal following. In March 2013 Eater Chicago included our signature sandwhich the “Mr. G” on its list of The Most Iconic Sandwiches in Chicago. That same month Citysearch selected us as Chicago’s Best Lunch Spot.  We regularly see lines now that stretch out the door at lunchtime and the patio we set up in 2011 is filled with customers on nice days.