In an act of rampant and unbridled hubris, the Potbelly located on South State Street reportedly has additional seating located on the second floor.
While, most days, the place is populated by a few individuals at the front tables, the restaurant also has additional seating upstairs, an area of the restaurant never even seen by most customers.
“The sandwich business is good,” says Joe Alfonsi, proprietor of the Potbelly franchise. “We figure one of these days, enough people will order the meal for here, and they’ll need to start using the upstairs seating.” The upper section of the restaurant features a variety of seating options.
One table is attached to the wall, with seating on just one side so customers don’t have to eat across from anyone. There’s also a bar-style table with tall stools, in case someone is tired of eating with their feet on the floor.
“I’ve actually gotten food from Potbelly a good number of times, but never considered eating my sandwich upstairs,” says patron Rick Lowe. “Whenever I get my food, there’s always one or two open tables on the bottom floor, so I just take those. After all, I’m not looking to tire myself out walking upstairs.”
Other customers are more passionately opposed to the additional option. “I would rather eat street food than use their upstairs seating,” says Michigan student Niki Gunderson. “I don’t need to eat my seven-dollar sandwich in some ivory tower.”
David Francis, an employee of the restaurant described the upstairs section as “more of a rehearsal space for struggling musician than a dining room,” referring to the live music events held upstairs.
Despite its unpopularity, Potbelly has decided to keep the upstairs section of its restaurant, claiming it’s a really good place to hide from customers when they get annoying.