Jersey Mike's is coming to Wilton

Fast-food fanatics rejoice, a Jersey Mike’s sub shop to open at 33 Danbury Road was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 27.

The shop plans to open in the vacant storefront next to Dunkin’ Donuts at the plaza that sits near the border of Norwalk.

One commissioner, Bas Nabulsi, echoed the words of the majority of the board when he said the empty space deserved a worthwhile business.

“This is an important retail location in town. The landlord, and the town, deserve a tenant there,” he said.

Commissioners voted five to one to approve the site, with Doris Knapp the lone dissenting member. Commissioners Sally Poundstone and Marilyn Gould were absent from the meeting.

Though opinions on parking space and walkway safety seemed certain to doom the application, a thesis presented by Commissioner Frank Wong swayed much of the board’s opinion.

“The walkway is not optimal, but it is not unsafe. The parking requested with the reduction is adequate, so I don’t see an issue with that,” he said. “The consensus is the overall site supports it. I cannot see denying it because we see a narrow space as not optimal.”

Jersey Mike’s

Brian O’Hagan, a partner on the team which owns the rights to Jersey Mike’s stores in Connecticut, said Tuesday the Wilton store’s grand opening is slated for the beginning of April.

“We have over 1,000 restaurants nationwide, and we are coming to Connecticut. The first two stores will be in Wilton and Fairfield, and then right after that will be Ridgefield and Brookfield,” he said.

The Jersey Mike’s representative also briefly explained the franchise, which offers quality hand-made sandwiches.

“We make fresh-made sub sandwiches and all the meats are sliced right in front of the customer. We think our product is the best on our market. They are genuine Jersey Shore subs with fresh-baked breads, red wine vinegar, and hand-cut tomatoes,” he said.

Important to the Jersey Mike’s brand, Mr. O’Hagan said, was its dedication to charitable giving. Rather than spending marketing money on big television ads, his company prefers to help its hometown communities.

“We don’t spend our marketing money on TV or big-time marketing, we spend it right in the community with charities or football associations,” he said. “We believe in spending our marketing money helping people.”

The company also plans to hire from within the community.