Polite Society and Bellwether owners launch Sub Division Sandwich Co.

In the midst of preparing a concept for the upcoming City Foundry STL complex and seeing their restaurants Polite Society and The Bellwether through social distancing and COVID-19, co-owners Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen have been busy. But that hasn’t stopped them from jumping on another new project. Last week, they opened their newest concept, a delivery-only sandwich operation called Sub Division Sandwich Co. This isn’t just a COVID-era hail mary; Sub Division is something Schmitz and Schoen have been thinking about for a while.  

“It’s been kind of a running thing in the back of our minds,” Schmitz said. “We were working on the project for the Foundry. When we were developing those ideas, Jonathan and I were making insane sandwiches at work.” With the rise of social distancing and the draw toward dining at home, this summer seemed like the right time to go head with the concept. “In the context of 2020, whether peoples’ offices are at home or they’re wanting to be a little more isolated, this was an opportunity to keep feeding people. That’s what we love to do,” he explained.  

Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sub Division Sandwich Co. has no storefront – the ghost kitchen’s food is available by delivery only. Running their own delivery system, Sub Division has about a 2-mile radius from its Lafayette Square headquarters at the moment, but that may expand in the future. 

The menu’s 12 sandwiches’ names are all film references, most of them from the ’80s and ’90s. The Dude Abides sees beef meatballs with tomato sauce and mozzarella served on a baguette; the My Precious features an 18-hour sous vide pork steak with St. Louis-style barbecue sauce and coleslaw on brioche. Vegetarian option Never Tell Me The Odds takes a chickpea salad as its base and is topped with veggies, almonds and raisins and is served on whole wheat bread.  

The three salads include a mixed greens salad, a kale Caesar and a chef’s salad with turkey, ham, egg and more. Sides include Zapp’s chips, quinoa salad, pasta salad, coleslaw and a side salad.  

Even as the concept enters its first full week, Schmitz and Schoen have their sights set on the future. “It’s going to evolve,” Schmitz said, mentioning potential collaborations and relationships between specials at Sub Division, Polite Society and The Bellwether. They also aim to work with other restaurants in the community. “Hopefully [there’s] some room to work with some of our neighbors,” he added. “We hope this is a permanent concept.”