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Subway Opens Nenana’s First Fast Food Franchise

May 22, 2024 | News, Retail


Food has been “slow” in the Tanana River town of Nenana, but not anymore. Subway is the first fast food franchise to open in the city of about 400 people southwest of Fairbanks.

Made to Order

Elijah and Erin Verhagen are operating their local Subway restaurant, tucked into a corner of the town courthouse on West Eighth Street, just off the Parks Highway.

“I grew up in Nenana, and I am beyond thrilled to give back to the wonderful Nenana community by serving delicious Subway subs, wraps, salads, cookies, soup, and more,” Elijah says. He notes that starting up has been challenging an hour’s drive away from Fairbanks. For example, the Coke machine he ordered was mistakenly delivered to Kodiak at first.

The Nenana location becomes the fifty-fourth Subway shop in Alaska since Steve Adams and his mother, Bobbie Scribner, opened the first one in 1988 in Midtown Anchorage. The world’s largest single-brand restaurant chain now has outlets in twenty-six Alaska communities.

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Alaska Business June 2024 Cover

June 2024

“New locations in Glennallen, Delta Junction, and now Nenana ensure that a Subway Restaurant is easily available and convenient for Alaskans and our visitors anywhere along the main highway route, from Homer and Seward to Fairbanks and Valdez,” says Adams, who advises franchisees as president of Subway of Alaska. The Delta Junction location opened last year, but its grand opening is taking place this weekend, one week after its Nenana counterpart.

The company’s restaurants employ more than 200 Alaskans statewide. Erin Verhagen says she’s pleased to be able to give a lot of high schoolers in Nenana their first experience at a paying job.

Nenana Subway is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. The shop is adding a catering capability, and a drive-through will open later this summer.

Alaska Business June 2024 cover
In This Issue
Delivering Anchorage's Promise
June 2024
Welcome to the June 2024 issue, which features our annual Transportation Special Section. We've paired it this year with a focus on the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, as Alaska has close ties to both that reach far beyond lines of transportation. Even further out past our Pacific Ocean compatriots and our Canadian neighbors to the east, Alaska's reach extends to India and Singapore. Enjoy this issue that explores many of Alaska's far-flung business dealings.
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