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Potbelly Is Opening 22 New West Coast Locations—Here's Where

The brand is growing its presence in Washington State.

If you love Potbelly's warm, toasted sandwiches (hello, Mama's Meatball sandwich!) you'll be happy to know that the chain is planning to open even more locations on the West Coast.

According to QSR Magazine, Potbelly Corporation completed a deal that will expand its presence in the Seattle-Tacoma region of Washington State. In a partnership with Sound Sandwich LLC, a locally based franchisee, 22 new Potbelly restaurants will open in the area. In addition, 13 new Potbelly locations will open in additional counties in Washington state including Thurston, King, and Pierce counties, over the next eight years. It's all part of a long-term growth strategy to expand the fast-food restaurant, popular for its sandwiches and yummy cookies across the United States.

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"We're thrilled to put the Potbelly experience within the reach of more people in the Seattle-Tacoma region," said Bob Wright, president and CEO of Potbelly. "This is a market that performs well but is significantly underpenetrated right now. We see tremendous whitespace for our brand and look forward to supporting our franchisee as they open the doors to new shops in the years ahead."

The chain is known for its funky décor, a laid-back, chill vibe, and for using high-quality ingredients such as all-white meat chicken free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives in its sammies. It got its start in 1977 when Peter Hastings and his wife started selling sandwiches to their customers at their antique shop in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. The shop was purchased by one of the regulars, Bryant Keil, who expanded it to 250 stores over 12 years. Potbelly spread beyond Chicago to Washington D.C. and in 2013, they became a publicly traded company. There are now over 400 Potbelly locations across the US, serving up toasted sandwiches along with smoothies, shakes, chips, and more.

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Fans of Potbelly love their classic toasted sandwiches, as well as the fact that they are transparent about nutrition facts and offer some better-for-you menu options. As the chain continues to expand, its strategy will focus on franchising and locally owned shops.

"It's always a pleasure working with proven franchisees that share our excitement and vision for the Potbelly brand," said Lynette McKee, senior vice president of franchising at Potbelly. "We are excited about the great potential this agreement offers us, and we look forward to working closely with such a fantastic partner to continue our growth momentum in Washington state."

Potbelly plans to reach 2,000 shops as part of its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative, with at least 85 percent of those locations being franchised. Meaning that your chance to try their to-die-for PB&J just increased exponentially.

Ronnie Koenig
Ronnie Koenig has written about food, drink, travel and culture for The New York Times, TODAY, The Atlantic and many others. Read more about Ronnie