Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced the opening of its first shop in California. The new shop in Irvine, a franchise location, is located at 14431 Culver Drive at the Walnut Village Center. This is the first shop to come out of a multi-unit franchise development deal the brand signed in California. Local resident and experienced entrepreneur Sameer Bhatia, the franchise owner of the new shop, is committed to bringing three more locations to the area, with considerations for shops in Costa Mesa, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest or Mission Viejo during the next three years. Likewise, Potbelly continues to prioritize franchise growth throughout Southern California, the East Bay and Central Valley regions.

Opening to the public on Monday, May 6, Potbelly will be hosting an Oven Warming fundraising event in which each customer can get one free sandwich and may make a donation to the Make-A-Wish foundation from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The grand opening event will take place the next day, on Tuesday, May 7, offering the first 100 customers who pay with the online app and sign up for the Potbelly Perks program one free sandwich at their next visit (one sandwich per customer).

“It’s such a great moment to be opening in Irvine and for this to be the first of more to come in Southern California and beyond in the state,” says Bhatia. “It is an honor to bring our tasty sandwiches, salads, shakes and cookies to our community—everyone is in for a real treat! As we continue to develop Potbelly shops throughout the area, I’m confident we will grow our devoted fan base who crave our sandwiches and good vibes.”

Potbelly shops have earned a reputation across the United States for having delicious food and fun décor, especially within bustling communities like Irvine.

“Sameer is the perfect fit to spearhead the brand’s growth into California – his passion for what makes Potbelly unique and his commitment to providing a great customer experience is truly inspiring,” says Jeff Welch, Senior Vice President of Development for Potbelly. “We’re excited for Sameer’s first location to open and are confident the shop will quickly become a local favorite.”

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Currently, there are more than 450 corporate and franchise Potbelly shops in the United States. The brand is continuing franchise growth in 2019 and is seeking experienced multi-unit operators who have the drive to grow a great business opportunity.

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News, Potbelly