HOISINGTON -- A week ago, Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell was contacted by the regional manager of Subway. The news wasn’t good. He was informed the Subway restaurant in Hoisington would be ceasing operations effective Tuesday, Oct. 17. Management wanted to make arrangements for the building. Mitchell shared what he knew with the city council at Monday night’s meeting.
According to deed, if they didn’t run a restaurant for 10 or more years, Subway would provide the city first-right of refusal of the deed to the building.
On Oct. 18, equipment and signage will be removed. Trade equipment including tables, chairs, and modular counters not permanently fastened, will be removed, as well as the company’s trademark wallpaper. What will be staying, after some negotiation, is the walk-in refrigerator and freezer and the compressors needed to keep them operational. The city, in return, will provide the labor to skim-coat the walls after wallpaper removal, Mitchell said.
But first, the council had to agree they would accept the building from Subway. On the one hand, it was noted that the building is in good condition, and the added equipment could make it attractive to another business to locate to. But, on the other hand, it would leave the city needing to fill two adjoining Main Street properties. The other property is where The Office Tavern operated before it closed. Finding a business to occupy the space has been a continuing challenge.
Ultimately, the council agreed it would be most beneficial for the Hoisington Land Bank to accept it back, and because they have a more vested interest in getting it filled, they would likely find a new tenant faster.
Council person Robert Bruce asked why the restaurant had decided to leave. Mitchell said he was told that the restaurant was not losing money, but that it was not performing satisfactorily for the company either. Since it opened, two other restaurants have opened in proximity, including Casey’s General Store and Sonic. These have had an impact. Mitchell said the company has offered jobs at restaurants in neighboring cities to all employees.
Mitchell has been approached by two other restaurants. One has backed out, and the other is waiting until after Subway vacates to walk through.
The council approved accepting the property back via warranty deed after Subway vacates.