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To celebrate the grand opening of the Jersey Mike’s in Hollywood, the franchise held a fundraiser benefitting Hollywood High School. Over 10,000 coupons were distributed, offering a free Jersey Mike’s sandwich with a donation of one dollar or more to the Hollywood High School Performing Arts program.
Peter Cancro, founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s flew out to Hollywood to help Lloyd Weintraub and his crew celebrate the opening on Vine, just north of Sunset. While enjoying the festivities and listening to the Hollywood High School choir sing, Cranco was so impressed with the talented students, that he personally donated $10,000. The Jersey Mike’s Hollywood store raised an additional $2,006 in donations that was presented to the high school last week.
With LAUSD cutbacks, this donation was a much-needed gift for the students and staff. Some of the most talented people in the entertainment industry have graduated from Hollywood High School. The Performing Arts program includes African, Afro-Cuban, classic ballet, hip hop, jazz and Latin dance classes, as well as, drama, film/digital graphics, technical theatre and vocal classes.
With over 30 years of showbiz experience as an actor, casting director, agent and later a producer, Weintraub enthusiastically chose the Performing Arts program as his philanthropy for his opening week.
When hiring employees for his Jersey Mike’s restaurants, Weintraub organizes a casting call to attract talented and charming individuals, similar to the teens in the Performing Arts program. Their training begins with dress rehearsals for weeks before working on the sandwich assembly line. No one is hired for just one job. Everyone learns to make sandwiches, run the registers, clean the tables, floors and bathroom. “Each employee takes responsibility so they have pride in how our restaurant looks,” Weintraub said. “I tell our employees to put on their show face and leave your drama at home. It’s showtime.”
Their most popular sandwich, #13, is the original Italian. “It’s an antipasto salad between two pieces of bread,” Weintraub said. Slices of ham, prosicuttini, cappacuolo, salami and pepperoni with layers of buttery and creamy provolone cheesecan be served “Mike’s Way” with sliced onions, lettuce, tomatoes, an olive oil and red wine vinegar blend with oregano and salt on fresh baked bread. Weintraub explained that the dough arrives frozen from a baker in New Jersey. It is left out for 12 hours to thaw and allow the yeast to rise. It’s then popped into a special bread oven and then served fresh. The beauty of this bread is that it doesn’t flake or crumble. It’s soft and springs back. “It has an East Coast attitude,” Weintraub said.
When the hot Philly cheese steak sandwich with melted cheese, grilled onions and peppers is ordered, the entire crew sings out “Hot sub.” If someone leaves a gratuity, the lead cashier taps a bell three times, and in unison, they all say “thank you.” The “cast” feeds off the energy of the customer and make ordering a sandwich a fun event.
On May 29, the Hollywood High School Performing Arts program will be debuting Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and close on June 7. Visit the new Jersey Mike’s before or after the show. The quality of food, freshness and friendliness make it worthy of a standing ovation. Jersey Mike’s, 1517 Vine St. (323)461-6161.
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