When Dan and Monique Ruiz moved to Hendersonville from South Florida, they left the sub shop they loved, LaSpadas of Ft. Lauderdale, behind. They missed it so much that they decided to open one similar to it — despite having absolutely no business background in the food-service sector.
But the couple’s appetite for hoagies trumped their inexperience: their Monte’s Sub Shop is wildly popular.
The couple reports that they more than doubled their sandwich output within the past 2-3 years, and now plan to open what they call a “family-oriented” bar connected to the sub shop.
“We’ll be offering up great craft beers on draft, paired with wonderful food and a really great atmosphere,” says Dan Ruiz. “It’s something we feel the community will really enjoy.”
To ensure that the new enterprise is community-centric, the owners reached out to fans of Monte’s on Facebook to find out their favorite beers.
“Our focus will be on highlighting craft beers from all over the country,” says Ruiz, “but we’ll have a heavy emphasis on local brews.” He and his wife also have two daughters, named Avery and River, so beers from Avery Brewing (of Colorado) and Deep River brewery (in Clayton, North Carolina) will definitely stay in heavy rotation.
Plans also include the occasional pint night, live music, a chalkboard-paint wall for scribbling, and games including Bananagrams, Scattergories, and Cards against Humanity.
Sandwiches are still the bedrock of the business, though. Asked about his most spectacular sub, Ruiz was ready with an unequivocal answer.
“The Mega Monte is our most substantial offering. We pack in ham, salami, roast beef, capicola, turkey breast, provolone, and American cheese. If there’s any space left, we also add whatever veggies the customer may want.” For those concerned about how to burn off all the calories in a sub of that magnitude, Ruiz points out a fringe benefit of ordering big. “When this thing is done,” he says, “you can do curls with it!”
A grand opening of The Taproom is planned for June 5, starting at 4pm. 2024 Asheville Highway in Hendersonville. 828-693-3112. Montes’s Sub Shop, www.montessubshop.com.