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John's Sandwich Shop: A neighborhood favorite for nearly 50 years

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Sept. 25, 2012

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.

The Basics

NAME: John's Sandwich Shop

ADDRESS: 8913 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

PHONE: (414) 257-9347

FARE: American

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)

RESERVATIONS: no

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 kmwaldkirch@yahoo.com.

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