EAST BAY GOES EAST AND NORTH

Anyone who has ever opened a restaurant knows it’s a science of waiting. East Bay Deli owner, Dan Jaikes is in the process of opening two new locations within the next four months. Jaikes hopes to expand the franchise by opening one in Mt. Pleasant by the first week in June and then another in Summerville, on Highway 78, by August 1. We say “hopes” because if you pass the building on Highway 78, you’ll notice it’s still under construction.

SZLAM KICKS IT UP A NOTCH

Uno Mas, Sal Parco’s Mexican restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, is celebrating its one-year anniversary, for the whole month of May. In addition to a month-long Cinco de Mayo celebration (with half off all Mexican beer and sangria and $1 off margaritas during happy hour), newly-hired chef David Szlam will revamp Uno Mas’ menu. Szlam trained with some of the best chefs in California before moving to Charleston and opening the short-lived but well-liked Cordavi. With Szlam’s help, Uno Mas, generally loved for its assortment of flavored margaritas — mango, pomegranate, and pear made in-house with fresh lime and orange juice — has added some new menu items. “He’s kicked up the food,” says Parco. Customers can expect “great passionate flavors and ideas,” like their new Mexican-style shrimp and grits. But their infamous guacamole, hand-crushed to order, is thankfully not going anywhere.

JIMMY JOHN COMES TO TOWN

The subs at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches are less “gourmet” than just plain tasty, and they are about to “blow up” the Charleston area, according to Tony Penza, Jimmy John’s Gourmet owner. The franchise, which started in Champaign, Ill. in 1983, is scheduled to open its first location downtown at 51 George St., on May 20, with plans of opening three more in Mt. Pleasant in about six months. With subs ranging from $3.75 for a “slim,” (strictly meat and cheese), to $5.75 for a “club,” (twice the meat and twice the cheese), Jimmy John’s is already confident in its ability to “thrive on college campuses,” says Penza. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., this sub shop prides itself on fast delivery. “You order your sub, you’ll have it in 10 minutes,” promises Penza. Now we don’t know if that’s gourmet, but that is customer service at its sandwich best.