TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Firehouse Subs is opening in Tyler today and plans to host a grand opening blood drive event Friday.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, the grand opening will feature the Tyler fire and police departments and give customers the opportunity to speak with local Firehouse Subs franchisee Rajen "Ray" Patel and try the steamed subs.
A Carter BloodCare bus will be at the restaurant collecting blood as a part of its "Saving 1,000 Lives" campaign for August. This month, all Carter BloodCare blood donors will receive a mini-foam finger from Fox Sports Southwest. Donors will also be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to see their favorite home team play. All donors at Firehouse Subs on Friday will receive free chips and a drink with the purchase of a sandwich. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, call Nicholas Moy at 903-330-0052.
The Tyler Police Department will fingerprint children as part of the Child I.D. Program, and the Tyler Fire Department will display fire engines.
After helping his father with his East Texas restaurants for nearly a decade, Patel, 29, said he wanted to open his own restaurant and decided to bring firefighter-inspired sandwich shop to Tyler.
The firehouse setting is based on the founding family's decades of fire and police service, and the local restaurant is decorated with memorabilia donated from the Tyler Fire Department, representatives said.
Firehouse Subs is known for its steamed meats and cheeses, Patel said. The franchise was started in 1992 by two brothers who were both firefighters. There are now 678 stores across the country, with 68 restaurants opening this year.
A unique feature to each Firehouse Subs restaurant is the custom, hand-painted mural inside the dining room. The Tyler restaurant's mural depicts the Tyler Fire Department responding to a fire with The University of Texas at Tyler Patriots and Tyler Junior College Indian mascots rising from the flames.
Firehouse Subs, at 3304 Troup Highway, is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. For more, contact 903-787-7472 orwww.firehousesubs.com .