one of the best things about what we do is the people we meet (the food's pretty good too).  while shooting at yuzu last week two ladies told us to try vinnies sub shop.  open for almost nine years this place serves very respectable italian subs and, based upon the constant flow of customers, many other people think so too!  while at vinnies we commented to darlene (the owner) about an item hanging above the door to the kitchen - a framed check from and mug shot of al capone. that's when she introduced us to joe, her husband of more than 40 years.  joe and darlene also happen to own the hardware store next door, which the family has operated also for more than 40 years!  we easily spent an hour speaking with joe and barely scratched the surface. joe is a collector.  he collects toys (that is his childhood peddle car in the hardware store - see pictures), erector sets (over 300), trains, small steam engines, mini safes (some just returned from a display at the smithsonian), police badges, locks, keys, doorknobs, coins, cars (including a one-of-a-kind mercedes once owned by the shah of iran), etc., etc., etc.

we will go back for a sub or two but we will also return to spend more time with joe.

1204 West Grand, Chicago

Vinnies Sub Shop on Urbanspoon

1208 West Grand, Chicago

Love to hear what you think!


  1. Just dropped in to Imperial Hardware this morning to have keys made and started chatting with Joe and before you know it, he took me into the back room and showed me all the trains, steam engines, doorknobs and safes. WHAT A FIND. Loved it. Was Google'ing to see who else knew Joe's (no so) secrets and here you are!

    1. thanks krista. what a great story and fun place!

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