Lee’s Hoagie House shuttered its storefront for good yesterday.
The franchise, which occupied its University City location for 28 years, will still operate in other locations, but its 41st and Walnut location will be turned over to a new business.
David Adelman, president and CEO of Campus Apartments, decided to choose another tenant for the location after Lee’s owner Lois Zucker approached him about her desire to retire.
“Our goal was to transition to a concept that we felt would be a little more popular and a little more supported by the Penn community,” Adelman said.
“He really wanted to bring something new and different and more current to the area, and so he decided to go with this other company,” Zucker added.
The store will be completely remodeled before the new business opens in a few months.
Rising College senior Sarah Van Sciver said she cried when she first heard the news. Her parents and uncle, whose photos adorned a bulletin board in the store, attended Penn and were “unofficially, [on] the Lee’s meal plan.”
“Even before I even thought about coming [to Penn], I used to come to this place to eat,” she said. “It’s very much tied to Penn and my family history.”
The love for Lee’s is so strong that Van Sciver said her family has stopped at the restaurant any time they’re in the tri-state area.
“We’ve literally been in New York, and my parents have been like, ‘I feel like a Lee’s hoagie!’”
The strong community of Lee’s patrons is one of the things Zucker said she’ll miss.
“Our staff has enjoyed being on the campus, and we really will miss all the people that we’ve met.”
Zucker stated that she had hoped to have Lee’s keep the lease but pass ownership of the franchise location to someone new.
“I’ve been there since 1985 with my husband,” she said.
Both Adelman and Zucker feel they are parting amicably.
“They have been great landlords to me,” Zucker said. “There are no bitter feelings and no ill will.”
Van Sciver said that she’s “horrified” this location is closing. “Luckily, there are other locations, but it still won’t be the same thing,” she said. “I really hope that they find a new location and reopen somewhere close by.”Comments powered by Disqus
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