A popular Oakland sub shop is closing its doors today after being in the same location for 35 years.
Uncle Sam’s Subs in the 200 block of Oakland Avenue announced plans to close the shop with a notice posted on its front door.
“With heavy hearts, we at Uncle Sam’s have decided not to renew lease and close this location. Due to the age and layout of this building a renovation was unfortunately not feasible.”
The notice was posted above a consumer alert that was issued by the Allegheny County Health Department on Sept. 4 after inspectors found roaches and mice, unsafe food holding temperatures, inadequate sanitation of surfaces food touches, poor employee hygiene and food that was not protected from cross-contamination.
Owner Jerry DiLemba said the violations were not part of the reason he is closing the store.
“All of those problems could have been fixed, and would have been corrected, but our current lease is up and we were unable to get a long-time lease,” he said.
DiLemba used the closing notice as an opportunity to thank his patrons.
“We have served a lot of great sandwiches, expanded a few waistlines, had a lot of laughs and made a lot of great friends.
“We’d like to thank everyone for the loyal patronage that you have given us throughout the years. Thanks for the memories.”
The shop has received a rating of four star out of five from the 96 people who posted on the Yelp.com review site.
DiLemba said he has not ruled out reopening in another location in Oakland.
Until then, fan’s of the family run sub shop chain will still be able to get the fix of Uncle Sam’s Subs at its three other locations in the Waterworks Mall, Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill and in Robinson Township along Summit Park Drive.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.