Old Station Sub Shop in downtown Phoenix is under new ownership

An eatery near Arizona's capitol, the Old Station Sub Shop, has a new owner.

The previous owner said the homeless population in downtown Phoenix near Jefferson Street and 15th Avenue pushed him to sell after 38 years.

Bill Ellis has been the owner for a little over a month now. He says he's not making changes to something that's not broken.

"It started out on April 5. I came down for lunch. It was my brother's idea. He said the Old Station Sub Shop was for sale and next thing you know, May 1 was the official day of ownership," Ellis said.

He says the nearly $140,000 purchase didn't make him nervous, which is how he knew it was the right move.

"Sure there was a blip in the system for the area, but looking forward, it's time to move on. The area looks fantastic. There's going to be a lot of development coming down the road here," he said.

The blip in the system Ellis is referring to is the former massive homeless encampment known as "The Zone." Tents in the homeless encampment surrounded the business for years.

It was to a point where it was unsafe for customers.

"I really appreciate what he's doing for the local area," a customer said.

Ever since The Zone was cleared last year, business has been picking up, making it a successful start to Ellis' new journey as owner.

"It's like you see a sigh of relief that this place does mean a lot to people. This is their go-to comfort food spot for a sandwich, and it's an honor to carry on that legacy," he said.

Customers are just as excited that the sub shop is here to stay.

"Especially considering the area we're in, stuff like that, we need a friendly neighborhood type atmosphere and this place provides it for sure," said customer Dimitri Hefley.

Ellis says he plans on adding a few new items to the menu.

He says he eventually wants to serve breakfast in a food truck right outside the shop.

Map of where Old Station Sub Shop is: