Media tastings are not reviews, but they are a great way for me to learn more about full menu offerings, dish updates, and special events from our local restaurants to share with readers. At this point, media tasting invitations are being accepted from any local restaurant who would like coverage on Feasting Fort Collins – no matter if they’ve been previously reviewed or not.
Media tasting photos are uploaded on Feasting Fort Collins Instagram during (or shortly after) the event, so be sure to follow me on there for the sneak peek before it hits the site.
East Harmony is blowing up with a whole bunch of new dining options. Potbelly Sandwich Shop is one of them, filling the gap for a quick grab and go sandwich choice. No doubt the people at Banner Medical Center are happy to have something closer for lunch, and not to mention the soon-to-be built apartments and offices that Brinkman has planned for the undeveloped sections surrounding the new Harmony Commons.
It wasn’t until Potbelly opened that I realized what a nostalgic cult-type following this sandwich shop has. Me, not being from Chicago where the business is based or having any opinion on their sandwiches either way, I simply thought “Oh, it’s another corporate sandwich shop.” But, after posting photos of the media tasting on Feasting Fort Collins’ Instagram, the nostalgia started pouring in the comments. Some people are preeeeety excited that Potbelly is here.
Luckily for them, there’s another one on the way in Old Town estimated to open in the fall – another location to explore their secret menu (apparently there are over 30 secret menu items with Potbelly).
While we tasted sandwiches, salads, and milkshakes I asked the question that’s been on a lot of people’s minds since hearing about Potbelly for the first time. “How does this potentially impact the Potbelly restaurant in Red Feather?”
Fort Collins has seen a handful of corporate restaurants come into town and start trademark lawsuits with locally owned restaurants that had already been established. The Kitchen in Fort Collins went after Next Door Food & Drink in Loveland, causing them to rebrand their name to Door 222. More recently, Torchy’s Tacos went after Dam Good Tacos in a trademark dispute for their tagline, and thus Dam Good Tacos will be named something else now (the name will be announced in a few months).
Because corporate restaurants have the financial backing and resources for these fights when small local businesses do not, each and every one has had to give in and rebrand. It most definitely leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the Fort Collins dining public, and it was certainly a fair question to ask Mallery Clouse, general manager at Potbelly Sandwich Shop. What are you going to with Potbelly in Red Feather?
First, she clarified that the trademark name is for ‘Potbelly Sandwich Shop’ not just ‘Potbelly.’ But, more importantly, she stated that they aren’t that kind of group. They’ve been in business since 1977 and it’s part of their core values to feel more like a local business that supports the communities they reside in. Their new Harmony store has already helped and participated in events, fundraising for non-profits like Turning Point, and student finalists in Odyssey of the Mind.
So, we shouldn’t anticipate or brace for a corporate vs local food fight coming from them, and can expect to see them living up to their tagline, “good vibes, great sandwiches.”
Menu items featured in the photo gallery above consisted of:
Farmhouse Salad – All-natural grilled chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, bacon, crumbled blue cheese, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and diced red onion on a bed of romaine, iceberg and spinach
Turkey Fresco Sandwich – All-natural, hand-pulled, slow-roasted turkey topped with spinach, roasted red peppers and basil mayo on multigrain
Mediterranean Sandwich – Zippy hummus, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, cucumbers and roasted red peppers on multigrain
A-Wreck (their signature sandwich) – Salami, Angus roast beef, oven roasted turkey, hickory smoked ham with melted Swiss cheese topped with lettuce, tomato and mayo on multigrain. (Add bacon to make it the Crazy 8 on the secret menu)
Birthday Shake – Hand dipped cupcake milkshake topped with rainbow sprinkles