Openings and Closings

The Great American Hero is Closing, Again. But It Will Reopen, Again.

The Great American Hero sandwich shop will leave the iconic pink and yellow building on Lemmon Avenue for a new home at Skillman and Northwest Highway.
The Great American Hero sandwich shop will leave the iconic pink and yellow building on Lemmon Avenue for a new home at Skillman and Northwest Highway. Doyle Rader
A scene in the 1994 film Forrest Gump shows Tom Hanks' character sitting on a bench talking about how he was invited to visit the White House. He adds, with an eye roll, "Again." And then he, " ... met the President of the United States. Again."

Well, The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this week that The Great American Hero sandwich shop on Lemmon Avenue is closing again, but will also reopen again.

The Great American Hero has been a Dallas institution for 47 years. At one time there were almost a dozen around Dallas, but they all closed except the one on Lemmon, which was the second to open.

The spot was popular for its fresh sandwiches made with produce purchased from local farmers markets with spreads such as hummus made in-house daily. Being health-conscious was important for founder Dominick Oliverie.

Late last year, Oliverie, 74, decided it was time to retire. He placed a large sign in front of his stand-alone pink and yellow sandwich shop that said it would be closing.

Just weeks later, a patron pulling up to the drive-thru for one last hurrah spotted another, smaller sign that announced the shop was reopening with new owners.

Jacob Cox and Danny Wilson swooped in to save our sandwich souls. The duo has some local experience in the food and beverage industry; they run several bars and businesses in Deep Ellum. They told the Observer in January they ate a lot of sandwiches before deciding to buy the spot from Oliverie. They also spoke of plans to expand the concept nationally with the same recipes and sandwiches.

Cox and Wilson also told us they had negotiated a three-month deal with the property owner at the time to stay on Lemmon. But after that they would be month-to-month, adding that the rent was too high for a sandwich shop long-term. Per the Morning News, their lease is up on Aug. 15.

As reported by the Lakewood Advocate, Hero's new home will be at Timber Creek Crossing shopping center at Skillman and Northwest Highway (6216 Retail Road). The location was previously a Captain D's and before that, a Del Taco. The owners hope to open (again) in September.

As for the iconic sandwich shop space, Shug's Bagels is moving in. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.