Two mainstay retail businesses on the Highland strip are being forced to consider other spaces for their locales.
Super Submarine Sandwich Shop, or Chinese Sub Shop as regulars call it, and smoking accessory and gift shop Whatever have about six months to find a new home. That’s because the property owner of 612 S. Highland St. is under contract to sell the 9,628-square-foot strip center to a new owner that will allegedly raze it.
A spokesperson for Palmer Brothers Inc., which manages the property in the University of Memphis neighborhood for the estate of Marion J. Madison, confirmed that the tenants have been given six-months notice, adding that the entire process including due diligence will likely take longer than that.
Jun Hua, owner of Chinese Sub Shop, said she hopes to relocate close by, but finding adequate restaurant space and parking is a challenge. The eatery has been a staple in the community for more than 35 years.
“Right now, we don’t know yet,” Hua said. “We want to stay here forever, but if the landlord sells the property and tears the building to build a new building, we have to go.”
Luke Sexton, operations manager of Whatever, said they were notified “in a roundabout way” of the property’s fate.
“Our property management people never let us know,” Sexton said. “We found out from one of our neighbors because he got a notice saying that he was going to have to be moved out of the premises in six months because the building had sold and it’s going to be demolished.”
Whatever has had a presence at 610 S. Highland St. for more than 40 years. Sexton said locals have been “flipping out” over the news.
“People keep asking us, like hitting me up on Facebook, ‘Oh, what are you guys going to do? You’ve been an institution in the area for so long.’”
But, rest assured, the novelty shop plans to occupy the space that formerly housed Double Deuce, next to what is now Juicy Jim’s, by December.
“We don’t plan on leaving the area whatsoever, we just have to move a half a block down,” Sexton said.