FLORENCE, S.C. – Firehouse Subs has opened at a new location in Pamplico Crossing across from MUSC- Health Florence Medical Center at 1925 Mountain Laurel Court.

After 16 and a half years in the same location, Firehouse Subs franchisees Larry and Jody Chandler decided it was time for something new. They decided to move.

“We thought our customers deserved a new spot,” Larry Chandler said in a phone interview on Thursday.

He said the Irby Street location in Southside Commons, which closed on Sunday, was his first Firehouse Subs. When their three newest locations open in Charlotte and Columbia, Chandler and his nephew will have 31 locations.

Chandler said he bought the existing franchise in 2004 and his nephew, Jody, became a partner in 2006.

He said the new location isn’t far from the old one, but everything is new, including the décor, the tables and the mural on the wall. The new mural includes Jody’s twin daughters and son.

Jody said the mural was painted by Joe Puskas, who has painted all the murals in the chains’ approximately 1,700 stores.

He said it is fun to have something new for the customers.

“We have a lot of loyal customers,” Larry said.

The restaurant is firehouse themed with sub names like The Rookie, The Lieutenant, and the most popular, the Hook and Ladder, said Jody.

“I am super happy to be on this side of town where I grew up,” he said. “It is good to see familiar faces.”

“We’ve been well supported over the years in this area,” Larry said.

He said he hated to leave the old location since it was his first.

Firehouse Subs supports communities where it is located through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which provides funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations.

“We are very proud of Firehouse Subs,” Jody said.

Since Hurricane Katrina, he said, the company has been raising money for first responders. The Chandlers receive donations through their roundup program in which customers can opt to round up to the nearest dollar and make a donation to the foundation.

Larry said they also sell their pickle buckets for $2 each and that money goes to the foundation.

Chandler said they just had three grants approved for their Lumberton (North Carolina), Columbia and Charlotte restaurants.

He said several years ago, the Florence Fire Department was given a grant.

“We recommend they request a grant,” he said.

The company has granted $42 million to hometown heroes.

Larry said they have about 18 employees in each Florence location. He said they are in the process of sprucing up the Radio Drive location.

“It was hard to say goodbye,” he said. “It meant so much to us.”

The new restaurant will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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