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Bigfoot Subs is serving up soups and sandwiches at 2204 W. College St.
SBJ photo by Mike Cullinan
Bigfoot Subs is serving up soups and sandwiches at 2204 W. College St.

‘Bigfoot’ has arrived near downtown Springfield

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Despite its name, the opening of the Bigfoot Subs sandwich shop in center city likely won’t result in any Sasquatch sightings.

The eatery opened Jan. 1 at 2204 W. College St., a first-time business venture for a U.S. Army veteran. The restaurant serves a menu of seven submarine sandwiches, along with rotating soups of the day and chili. Owner and Texas native Dannie Wright said the eatery was dubbed Bigfoot Subs after taking inspiration from a barbecue establishment she had seen near the Oklahoma and Texas border that had Bigfoot in the name.

Wright said she purchased the building last July from Doug Anderson for an undisclosed price and spent the next five months cleaning it out. Noting it was “in really bad shape,” she said the space had been vacant for over a year and most recently was Tubby’s Diner LLC.

Renovation work included new flooring, paint and trim, as well as replacement of many of the building’s windows. Wright declined to disclose startup costs, but she said it was done on a shoestring budget as she put a lot of “sweat equity” into the shop. At one point, she said repair work money dried up, which resulted in her starting a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in September. Approximately $1,265 was raised, she said.

“It helped tremendously,” she said of the fundraiser, noting it allowed her to finish the needed work to get the eatery open. “It seems like it all came together at the end.”

Wright said she sees the shop as a place to not just eat, but hang out, play games and visit. For that purpose, she’s included a pool table, dartboard, jukebox and television.

“I really like cozy spaces,” she said, noting she was inspired by the atmosphere of McSalty’s Pizza Cafe, which she frequented when it operated near Missouri State University. Wright graduated from MSU in 2003 with a master’s degree in defense and strategic studies.

After graduation, Wright went on to Washington, D.C., and worked in the Pentagon before enlisting in the Army. She was in active duty for five years, including three years in the Middle East, where she was stationed in Bahrain and Qatar.

“But after 10 years of intelligence work, I was spent and ready to have a life,” she said, adding she moved back to Springfield in 2012.

Through the advice and encouragement of friends, several of whom have experience in the restaurant industry, Wright said she decided last year to pursue her own business.

“I just kind of always wanted to have a small sandwich shop,” she said.

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