Is Santa Monica on The Verge of a Cold (Cut) War?

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An axis of aggressive expansion Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

We tried to caution you about the spread of the Jersey Mike's Subs chain back in March, as it innocuously slipped into Marina del Rey. Today, we see the danger creeping close to Santa Monica's sub standard-bearer and one of L.A.'s most heavily trafficked lunch destinations, establishing a new beachhead a mere 100-feet from Bay Cities Deli. Yes, the Jersey chain is issuing a challenge to the home of the ever-popular Godmother (and the regular focus of "edgy" food-writers declaring one of its other other 23 sandwiches the better). Jersey Mike's is setting up shop at a new under-development condo building/Retail Hell at Broadway and Lincoln, joining Fresh Brothers and Starbucks in a fast food axis of aggressive expansion.

The news obviously doesn't mean Bay Cities needs to wave a white flag. Lines will still lengthen for a taste of its chicken parms, meatball subs, and signature Godmothers. Bay Cities Partisans will probably never meet in the street to battle the Jersey Mike's Hooligans with brick-bats and hobnail boots.

But this greedy chain with a Chris Christie appetite for real estate could very well wick away some of The Bay's less-committed clientele, including those whose lunch hours are rapidly slipping away and first-timers yet to learn the wait is worth it. And come Monday, when Bay Cities take the day off, it basically gets the block to itself.

While sandwich profits may be up for grabs in the battle to come, at least Bay Cities has the local market strictly locked down on yerba mate bombillas. For now!!