Fox 59

Cousins Subs plans Indianapolis expansion with first stores to open in 2023

INDIANAPOLIS – A Midwest sub sandwich chain hopes to add up to seven Indianapolis-area locations over the next few years.

Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs plans to open its first two Indy locations in 2023. The regional chain has nearly 100 sub shops in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

The chain has signed leases for its first two Indianapolis restaurants: 8545 Emerson Ave. on the south side and 10220 E. Washington St. on the far east side.

The company has 50 franchise-owned and 44 corporate-owned locations in Wisconsin and the Chicagoland area. Its single Indiana store is in Crown Point.

In recent years, the family-owned brand has debuted new drive-thru locations and a new store design that have driven sales.

Cousins Subs features a full menu of deli and grilled-to-order sub sandwiches. Menu options include cheese steak, steak Philly, chicken cheese steak, pepperoni melt, club, meatball, tuna and BLT sandwiches. Sides include fries, Wisconsin cheese curds and Wisconsin mac and cheese.

The company said it prides itself on featuring fresh-baked bread made daily along with high-quality meats, produce and sides sourced locally when possible.

Indy’s new locations will feature a “Milwaukee Sub Shop” look with digital menu boards and natural wood, stone and metal accents. Customers can order for dine in, drive-thru, pickup or delivery.

The chain is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. It was founded in 1972 by New Jersey transplant Bill Specht and his cousin, Jim Sheppard, who aimed to bring a taste of home to Milwaukee.

Specht moved to Wisconsin in the late 1960s and found he “was still craving East Coast subs.” His solution was to build his own sub shop, and the first Cousins Subs opened in June 1972.