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Capriotti’s, a Wilmington-based sandwich franchise frequented by Vice President Joe Biden, is set to open a chain of restaurants in the D.C. area.
The first of these, at 18th and M streets NW, opens on Thursday. And area franchise developer George Vincent Jr. says customers can expect a “deep bench” of subs on the menu. There’s their best-known sandwich, the Bobbie, a Thanksgiving-themed sub filled with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo; the Capastrami, with pastrami, swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw; alongside other subs. The M street location also sells vegetarian sandwiches (made from soy turkey) and salads. Subs range from nine to 20 inches and cost from $7 to $17.
Though it’s now a national franchise, Capriotti’s was launched as a mom-and-pop sandwich shop by Lois Margolet in 1976. To distinguish her offerings from the dozens of other sandwich shops in Wilmington’s Little Italy, Margolet wanted to sell really good turkey (as opposed to the paper-dry cold cuts we’re all used to getting).
Margolet is retired now, and the M street Capriotti’s doesn’t quite have the cozy atmosphere of the original (the 35-seat restaurant feels more like the inside of a Subway), but Capriotti’s turkey is still whole-roasted daily at the site of the restaurants.
This location—which Vincent hopes will be one of at least five to open in the next year—also aims to attract office workers and late-night partiers in the Dupont area. The restaurant does catering and is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 3 a.m. “Or until the last person gets a sandwich,” Vincent says. “We’re not going to turn anyone away.”
Capriotti’s, 1800 M St. NW; capriottis.com/dc.php