The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Captain Bill’s Subs: A Family Story Within A Hidden Gem


 This is part of an ongoing series promoting local businesses through feature articles concurrent with Instagram giveaways. To check out the giveaways, visit @slohsexpressions on Instagram. For more information, or if your business is interested in participating, contact [email protected]​.

  Call (805) 783-1074 or visit Captain Bill’s Subs website at to pre-order your meal for take out or delivery, as well as learn more about this community-based restaurant, and all of its charming aspects.

 Within walking distance of San Luis Obispo High School and in the depths of downtown San Luis Obispo, there lies a plethora of restaurants, with one being local sandwich shop Captain Bill’s Subs. Right down the street from some of the most popular restaurant, is this five star one-stop sandwich shop that has all the means for you to have a delicious meal that can be enjoyed, even during quarantine.

 Captain Bill’s Subs offers an abundance of sandwich choices that can meet multiple dietary requests. This includes, but is not limited to vegan and vegetarian options.

  “The Garden Goddess is the most underrated item on our menu by far. This is a vegan friendly sandwich, so there is no meat. It is full of flavors with sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Peruvian Sweetie Drop Peppers, sprouts, dill Havarti, cashew spread, and more. I feel like this is an underrated item because of the explosion of flavors in each bite of this delicious masterpiece. I am not sure people usually think to order vegan when they go to a sandwich shop, but if they like flavors, they should,” said Co-Owner of Captain Bill’s Subs, Kris Reid. 

  In order to make such special sandwiches for their new and returning customers, Captain Bill’s Subs thrives off of supporting the community by buying a variety of their ingredients within San Luis Obispo.

  “All of our ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible. We work with local and family run vendors and produce providers to get the freshest and tastiest ingredients in everything we offer. We incorporate some of these ingredients when making our Italian dressing that is made in house and has been for over thirty years.We also make our own BBQ [barbeque] sauces, of which, we have three to choose from: OG (original), Sweet & Sassy, and Spicy Chipotle. Our soups, tri-tip, meatballs, cookies, and many, many other yummies too numerous to mention,” said Reid.

  This family-owned business has two locations with the San Luis Obispo franchise located on Higuera street and owned by Kris and Julie Reid, along with Julie’s son Raymond Dubow. 

  “We are grateful and honored to share with the SLO community, Captain Bill’s favorite foods, unapologetic humor and sense of community that he was hardly aware he had created. Like Captain Bill, Julie’s father, we hope that our family will also leave a legacy of good times, first jobs, and strong, positive role models. Captain Bill gave a lot of good advice and molded a lot of young lives while he owned his restaurants. We have already hired local high school students, veterans, and Cal Poly students as we hope to be a long standing pillar of our community,” said Reid.

  Since its opening in August of 2019, Captain Bill’s Subs strives to keep its customers satiated and happy, and at this time, they are serving their regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  “My advice to customers is to keep supporting your local dining establishments and start up a conversation with the person you are ordering with. We are all under stress and deprived of our usual social interactions. Get your social when you can- you never know, you might make a new friend while enjoying an old favorite,” said Reid.

  Each of the two locations of Captain Bill’s Subs, both partly encompassed in a red and white awning, will forever hold a historical and family-based love deep within its roots, which can be re-emphasized through the restaurants name as the first location in Phoenix, Arizona, was founded in 1981 by the Captain himself – Bill Whalley.

  “Bill Whalley was an entrepreneur, musician, and comedian who had worked in construction and the spa businesses before finding his passion in a sandwich shop, The Submarine Factory. Bill took over the location he was operating and turned it into his own independent sandwich shop. One day, Bill was making a deposit at the bank when he noticed a sweet elderly lady taking a large withdrawal. A teenager followed the lady out and Bill kept an eye on them. When the teen stole the lady’s purse, Bill sprang into action. He chased them down, making a citizen’s arrest. The girls who worked for him [at the restaurant] made a cake that said, “Captain Bill, Our Hero!” Bill renamed the shop Captain Bill’s Submarine; and so it was that Captain Bill’s Submarines was born,” said Reid.

  Another charm bound to this restaurant is not only their variety of menu items, but additionally, even more creative foods on their ‘secret menu’.

  “The most extravagant item on the menu is actually not on the menu. It is on our “secret menu” and is called the Quad!  It is: your choice of four different sandwiches on a twenty-four inch sub roll. Basically, you get one sub on a twenty-four inch sub roll, but we put the ingredients for four of your favorite sandwiches consecutively, so after every few bites, you get a different sando flavor,” said Reid. 

  Now that the county quarantine is lifted, Captain Bill’s Subs is excited to reintroduce the full experience of sit-in dining at their restaurant.

  “We are loaded with games and fun, you can even win swag. There are pictures of Captain Bill scattered throughout the restaurant. If you can correctly identify the right  number of pictures of Captain Bill, you win a free Mini-Munchie Sandwich. You can also play the bottle cap game and win a prize if you shoot the bottle cap through the hole, said Reid.

  Captain Bill’s Subs is even more unique in the sense of their dining accommodations.

  “We are also one of the lucky few restaurants that has city operated seating outside our restaurant. Therefore, one can enjoy a meal just outside on our patio where tables are spaced six feet away from each other,” said Reid.

  Captain Bill’s Subs is dedicated to upholding a strong community within their sandwich shop, especially during this time where everyone must come together, but by maintaining social-distancing.

  “We have delivered over two hundred meals to local health care workers so far and will continue to do so for as long as is needed so they are comforted with yummy food while they are fighting for our health. The main deal we currently offer is that if someone donates a meal to a health care worker, we will include a free cookie and bag of chips with their order. The donation can be any amount, however, each meal is ten dollars,” said Reid.

  When driving through downtown San Luis Obispo, think about stopping by Captain Bill’s Subs to enjoy a delicious four point two inch to twenty-four inch sandwich for any meal, and consider making a donation in order to support some health care workers in the community.

  To make a donation, Captain Bill’s Subs would appreciate any amount at checkout, and would like to remind you that each sandwich that they will make for health care workers has the price value of ten dollars.

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