Chain sandwich shops are a common find in the Twin Cities. But Potbelly Sandwich Shop has set itself apart with an emphasis on live music since the first shop opened in Chicago in 1977.
“Pop music has been a part of Potbelly since the beginning,” says Potbelly music coordinator Patrick Higgins. “We try to keep it fun and upbeat.” Hosting two to four performances per week, Higgins says it’s an opportunity to bring some music to the community while providing local musicians with a coveted regular gig.
One person you’ll find at the Plymouth Potbelly every Friday from 11:30–1:30 is David Seeba, who has been regularly performing at various Potbelly shops for the past seven years. Although he’s done a little songwriting himself, he says he mostly sticks to covers of James Taylor, The Beatles, and sometimes even a little Ed Sheeran.
“You can get a real intimate atmosphere,” he says. “I really like connecting with the people.” And the people seem to enjoy him as well, or at least as far as he can tell. “Any frowns or grumpy looks have been held to a minimum.”
You can find live music during the lunchtime hours at 20 local Potbelly locations. Higgins says he schedules acts over lunch because it’s their busiest time of day, and gives people the chance to enjoy a little mid-day entertainment during their lunch break. In an effort to keep the vibe relaxed, he says, “all of the music is acoustic, and we don’t do anything amplified.”
The Plymouth location hosts a regular rotation of musicians, as well as some artists who may be passing through town on tour. “I’m really open to having a wide variety of people come in and entertain,” says Higgins.