Sometimes a local restaurant becomes so ingrained in the fabric of a community, it defies labels. John's Sandwich Shop in Wauwatosa is such a place. Originally opened in 1963 by John Canter, John's was purchased in 1991 by Peter and Kris Hyndiuk. They've been running it ever since.
Sure, they have a large variety of sandwiches, but John's is so much more than just a sandwich shop. It's a gathering place where families come early for breakfast, meet friends for lunch or stop in for a home-cooked dinner. The menu includes simple and basic favorites as well as unique twists on familiar items, usually with a healthy touch and a bit of education thrown in.
As Kris explains: "We are a fast, casual family-style restaurant with a healthy eclectic menu. We still do cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes, but our menu has a healthier spin."
Diners might notice little blurbs about "super foods" posted on the wall in John's and throughout the menu as well. The idea is to feed and educate.
Some of the signature lunch and dinner items include the Cranberried Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Salsa ($8.95), the 89th Street Turkey Club Sandwich ($9.95) and The Reuben Melt ($8.50). (John's roasts its own turkey and corned beef.) Breakfast favorites include the avocado omelet ($9.95), huevos rancheros ($9.95) and the breakfast quesadilla ($9.95).
Drive by John's on a warm, sunny day and you'll see patrons of all ages happily dining on the front patio. Drive by on a cold, winter day and you'll see families nestled into window tables, their hands wrapped around warm coffee mugs.
"We are not just a greasy spoon," Kris said. "We offer healthier options. We are family-owned, not a chain."
Judging by its popularity, John's seems to have found its place in the community.
NAME: John's Sandwich Shop
ADDRESS: 8913 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
PHONE: (414) 257-9347
HOURS: 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
PRICE RANGE: $2.95 to $9.95 (approximate)
HANDICAPPED ACCESS: yes (but not for restrooms)
GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS: yes
LOOKING TO 'GRAB A BITE'?
"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a date night or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Red Dot aims to duplicate East Side success in Wauwatosa
- There's No Place Like Hom Woodfired Grill
- Mo's Irish Pub: A lively Irish American neighborhood eatery
- Sluggo's Sports Pub & Grill: Back in business on Burleigh
- Tall Guy and a Grill: Taking backyard BBQ to new heights
- Cocina DeLeon: Old-world gourmet Mexican you make at home
- Burke's Irish Castle carries on a local legacy
- Albanese's Roadhouse serves up generations of Italian blessings
- BelAir Cantina: A breezy, Cali-Mex casual eatery
- Sherbrooke offers a bit of Canada in Tosa, eh
- Colonel Hart's: A true neighborhood hangout
- Ted's: It's Cheers without the beers
- Penelope's: A labor of love in heart of Elm Grove
- Drink in a bit of island life at Jimmy's Island Grill
- North Avenue Grill Same name, new owner
- Highlands Café: Tosa natives expand restaurant
- Café Hollander: Upscale and Belgian-themed
- Jose's Blue Sombrero: Tableside fun with a Mexican flair
- Balistreri's secret is in the staff and the recipes
- Slim McGinn's West a touch of Irish hospitality in Brookfield