Sub 16 Co-Owner Talks Four Years of Success In Zionsville

Photographer  /  Ron Wise

Michael Hedges, co-owner of Sub 16 Giant Submarine Sandwiches, 640 S. Main St., Zionsville, says he was born into the submarine sandwich business.

“My parents started their submarine sandwich shop, which is called Tastee, in 1963,” Hedges says. “It’s a business I literally grew up with. My mom still works there and has been there for 45 years. I learned the business by being around it so much and working there when I was a kid. I have been in the food industry since I was 15 years old.”

Hedges’ early education in the sandwich business has paid off. When he and Sub-16 Co-Owner Joe Tanona, (who has lived in Zionsville with his family for 15 years), were ready to open a restaurant, they knew Zionsville was the ideal location.

“The Zionsville area is just perfect,” Hedges says. “It was always our choice. It has been everything we wanted. We opened Sub 16 in July 2014, and we have loved being here. We set out to offer an authentic, East Coast, old-fashioned sub shop, and that’s what we have done. Zionsville residents have been overwhelmingly positive about everything.”

Sub 16 is known as the “home of the Giant Submarine Sandwich-East Coast Deli Style Subs.”

“We really believe in the fresh concept,” Hedges says. “We make sure all of our sandwiches are as fresh as they can be. We have homemade meats and fresh vegetables. We make all of our soups from scratch, and our salads are made to order. We make our meatballs in-house.”

Hedges adds that customers love the 16 different signature sandwiches, which is where the Sub 16 name comes from.

“If it’s a classic submarine sandwich, it has to have high-quality deli meats and be freshly sliced to order,” Hedges says. “We really make sure all of our beef, pork and chicken are made in-house. We also mark sure we customize the sandwich the way our customers want them.”

Customer favorites include their Philly Cheesesteak sandwich with grilled onions, provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayo, The Spicy Italian, with ham, capicola, salami, pepperoni and provolone and The Sloppy 16, with roast beef, turkey, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and cole slaw.

“The Sloppy 16 is a big seller,” Hedges says. “We make everything to order here, so nothing throws us. We can customize your sandwich any way you want.”

The Teriyaki Chicken with grilled onions and cheddar cheese and The BBQ Pulled Pork with apple cider slaw are also popular.

“We also have a good selection of salads to choose from,” Hedges says. “The 16 Bowl is any cold sub served as a chef salad. We have really been able to get to know what our customers like and can custom-make their salad or sandwich just the way they like it. It’s why people keep coming back.”

Hedges estimates that he or Tanona are at the restaurant 80 percent of the time.

“We have loved being welcomed by the Zionsville community,” Hedges says. “They have been extremely supportive since we started and have encouraged their friends to come and visit us.”

Hedges and Tanona are already looking at opening a second Sub 16 in either Carmel, Fishers or Noblesville but haven’t made a final decision yet.

“We are definitely looking at a north side location, but we don’t want to rush it,” Hedges says. “We want to make sure we find just the right spot that will be as good as Zionsville has been.”

Sub 16 is located at 640 S. Main Street in Zionsville. You can give them a call at 317-344-0994 or visit them online at

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