Alexandria's first Firehouse Subs holds grand opening Monday

Alexandria Firehouse Subs owners Calvin Hoge, Heather Pitts, and Brian Hoge stand in front of a mural that is part of the new store's decor. The mural was hand painted by Artist Joe Puskas and customized to represent Alexandria and its surrounding community. (Credit: Firehouse Subs)

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The new Firehouse Subs location in Alexandria held its grand opening Monday at 700 MacArthur Drive.

The restaurant is owned by first-time Firehouse Subs Franchisees Heather Pitts, Calvin Hoge and Brian Hoge. This is the first Firehouse Subs restaurant for Calvin Hoge and his two children, Heather and Brian. The family moved to Alexandria in 1984 when Calvin was stationed at the England Air Force Base. He served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force for 20 years.

Brian introduced the family to Firehouse Subs a few years ago as they were discussing the possibility of opening a franchise together as a family. After tasting the food and learning about the brand’s commitment to heartfelt service and public safety, the three were determined to open their first franchise with Firehouse Subs. Brian and Heather each have two children who will help around the restaurant as well.

“For two decades, I served my country through the Air Force, and I knew we’d found the perfect venture when I learned about Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and how every Firehouse Subs restaurant gives back to first responders, military and public safety organizations,” Calvin Hoge said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of that.”

“I’ve seen firsthand how Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has helped in times of need here in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Gustav,” Heather Pitts said. “To know that we are now a part of those fundraising efforts and making a difference in communities across the country warms my heart.”

“This entire process to take on a new business together as a family has been so exciting,” Brian Hoge said. “The sense of anticipation around town has been so encouraging. We’re looking forward to serving the community every day with smiles on our faces.”

Firehouse franchisees are dedicated to serving the community not only with their food, but with giving back through Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which has granted more than $618,000 in Louisiana.

The Alexandria Firehouse Subs restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It will offer third-party delivery and in-house catering services to accommodate occasions of all sizes, from office meetings to family gatherings. The restaurant will also offer a drive-up pick-up window where guests who have placed online, phone and delivery orders in advance can pick up their food without having to leave their cars.

This is the 16th Firehouse Subs restaurant in Louisiana. In addition to its signature subs, the restaurant offers a variety of catering options from sandwich and dessert platters to salads and snacks to fuel any occasion.

Founded by former firefighting brothers, the Alexandria restaurant décor reflects the founding family’s decades of fire and police service with gear and photos donated by local fire departments. It boasts a custom, hand-painted mural by Chief Mural Artist Joe Puskas depicting the scenic views unique to the area, including the local heroes from the Alexandria Fire Department in front of the Gillis Long Bridge that goes across the Red River to connect Alexandria and Pineville.

The mural also features an A10 “Warthog” plane, which is what Calvin piloted while serving in the Air Force. Since the opening of the first Firehouse Subs in 1994, Puskas and his team have painted more than 1,160 murals from his studio at Firehouse Subs Headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.

In 2005, the Firehouse Subs founders established the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, lifesaving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. The 501(c)(3) Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has granted more than $42 million to hometown heroes in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Each restaurant recycles five-gallon pickle buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters explain the nonprofit’s mission and collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar. All funds raised benefit the Foundation.

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