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Polite Society, Bellwether team launch Sub Division sandwich concept

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Polite Society in Lafayette Square

Polite Society in Lafayette Square. photo by Hillary Levin,

Sub Division Sandwich Co., a new concept from the team behind Polite Society and the Bellwether, is now available for takeout and delivery. Sub Division operates out of the kitchen of Polite Society at 1923 Park Avenue in Lafayette Square from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Jonathan Schoen, who owns Sub Division with partners Brian Schmitz and Travis Hebrank, tells Off the Menu the decision to open a so-called ghost kitchen (a restaurant without its own dining area based in an existing restaurant's kitchen or a commissary kitchen) followed changing dining habits during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With so many people working from home and not going to their offices, the decision not to reopen (Polite Society) for lunch, at least for now, was pretty easy,” Schoen says. “And we had the facility and we had the workers. We wanted to keep people employed. So we were kicking around ideas of things we could do, and we just thought that (Sub Division) would be kind of a fun project.”

The separate Sub Division brand is also meant to avoid confusion, lest Polite Society customers try to order a sandwich for dinner.

Polite Society chef Daniel Sammons oversees Sub Division, which offers a selection of hot and cold sandwiches with movie-inspired titles. As highlights, Schoen points to There's No Place Like Home, a Thanksgiving sandwich (turkey, gravy, mushroom duxelles, cranberry sauce, crisp onions and caramelized-shallot aioli), and Go Ahead, Make My Day (braised, shredded chuck roast, demi glace, Swiss cheese, slaw and horseradish mayonnaise).

The Dude Abides “seems pretty straightforward,” Schoen says, “but it's really delicious — the best meatball sandwich I've ever had before.”

Schoen says if the Sub Division concept proves successful, the team could envision expanding its delivery area. Also, the team will soon launch a similar service from the Bellwether featuring a pasta menu (though not the restaurant's exact dinner menu).

“Pasta travels great,” Schoen says.

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