Successful soft opening slates Slammin’ Sammy’s Sandwiches for grand opening

It’s been almost a year since Alley Kat Sandwich Shop vacated the building at 803 W. Walnut St., but its new-but-familiar tenants are gearing up for the restaurant’s grand opening.

Slammin’ Sammy’s Sandwiches owners Logan McMeans and Samantha Chapman hosted a soft opening on Saturday and Monday to get used to the new space and expanded menu. After cruising the streets for almost three years in the Slammin’ Sammy’s food truck, the owners decided it was time for a fixed location after Alley Kat closed last year, and have spent the last few months preparing the space, menu and training staff for table service.

slamminsammys7“It’s a lot different for us going from a food truck to being in a restaurant, which sounds weird, but the more space we have it’s different for us, because we had everything so compacted and it was ready to grab,” McMeans said. “It’s an interesting learning curve.

“We feel like we got in here at a good time with Walnut Street expanding, and we were really comfortable with the space.”

Passersby may notice the flash of orange that masks the outside of the restaurant now, and the inside boasts a renovation to the kitchen and bathroom in addition to bar-top services. The coolers remain unstocked for now, but Chapman and McMeans said beer service will begin once their permit runs through the Johnson City Commission. A few weeks of preparation also will lead to a bigger menu for the restaurant, and more options in addition to the menu items offered in the food truck.

The restaurant also will offer full table service as opposed to the counter service Alley Kat offered.

The restaurant will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday for more maintenance, but will reopen Thursday during its normal hours of 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays.

slamminsammys3Chapman and McMeans said they are holding off on a grand opening until they are able to provide the full menu and the staff has had some practice in the new space. The completed menu will have salads, grilled chicken and some vegetarian and vegan options to offer to round out some healthier options that they can’t offer in the food truck due to space. The menu also will include items that have already been available through the food truck like deli sandwiches, burgers and fries.

“We definitely were taking that into consideration when we were making our new menu,” Chapman said. “We ran into that issue with the food truck where we were limited on space and we wanted to be able to cater to the (healthy) crowd as well.”

Once the beer permit is approved, Chapman said the plan is to offer at least bottled beer, but added that draft beer is on the list for consideration too.

Slammin Sammy’s Sandwiches food truck has been parked while its owners have been getting the restaurant ready for its debut, but the truck will regain its wheels sometime within the next few months, if all goes according to plan. Chapman said plans are to continue attending events in the food truck throughout the year once everything is up and running at the restaurant.

The grand opening of Slammin’ Sammy’s Sandwiches will be announced on social media through the restaurant’s Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected]. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at