After more than forty years in south suburban Country Club Hills, sandwich shop Unbeatable Eatables is opening a Hyde Park location on Sept. 1.
The restaurant, located at 1744 E. 55th St., will serve traditional deli subs and homespun sandwich variations, as well as ice cream, salads, soups and homemade chili.
Owner Khris Shavers worked as a truck driver for Coca Cola for nearly ten years before taking over Unbeatable Eatables in 2011. Shavers said original owner Jeff Denmon, who founded the business in 1979, also drove trucks for a living.
“Speaking for myself, changing jobs was one of the best decisions I’ve made,” Shavers said.
“I was tired of doing the same old thing. Pensions weren’t the same as they were 20 or 30 years ago, and I was looking for something that I could really get into and enjoy and grow. I didn’t look to buy a restaurant at first — I was just looking to buy a business that could have a future. I saw that Unbeatables had customers that came back and back and back.”
When asked if it was difficult to switch jobs, Shavers said, “Of course, you always meet your challenges, and when I get those, I sometimes think, ‘Maybe you should’ve stayed at Coca Cola.’ But trust me, I snap out of that real fast. I snap out real fast.
“It’s easier, it’s simple, not a bunch of cooking and frying. It’s a simple operation. Subs, soups, salads and ice cream. It don’t get no simpler than that. We got something for everybody.”
Shavers attributes the success of the restaurant to its “over the top” customer service and its fresh-sliced meats and veggies. Apart from staples like the Reuben and BLT, Unbeatable Eatables also sells its own special subs, like the “Luv Boat” (chicken, turkey, bologna and Colby cheese) and “Jaws 2” (ham, salami and swiss cheese).
The sandwiches come in three sizes — mini, regular and large — and range in price from $5 to $12.
Shavers said his father had always advised him to get a location in Chicago, and the opportunity to open in Hyde Park just “fell in (his) lap.” (The restaurant also has a franchised location in Evergreen Park.)
“My dad was a firm supporter, may he rest in peace. He was always saying, ‘You need a presence in the city.’ And I agreed with him! So when I came across the location, I’m gonna be honest with you, it was like God’s gift. I can’t take the credit for it.”
Shavers said he received a call out of the blue from the broker who helped him buy Unbeatable Eatables, informing him that the space had opened up. After hearing the rental price, he immediately decided to get a lease and start renovating the shop.
“I love the Hyde Park area. I live in the suburbs but I ride my bike along the lake and I spend time here. I see that it’s a diverse community... If we couldn’t go downtown, we came real close. If we couldn’t go downtown we got the next best thing.”
COVID-19 and contractor troubles got in the way of a speedy opening. Shavers said the first contractor worked slowly and kept raising the price of the work.
He said, “Then we had to go through some hoops with the city and the pandemic hit, so everything just slowed down. Things happen when they supposed to happen — I don’t beat myself about things.”
Shavers said he’ll be primarily working in the Hyde Park location in the first few months after it opens.
“What we have here is something special, you know. We treat people like family and we’ve had people coming here for decades. Most of our customers, 85%, come back after the first time they’ve been. You can’t stay in business for forty years with people just eating here once and never coming back again,” Shavers said.
Unbeatable Eatables is hiring for all positions at its Hyde Park location. Interested applicants can apply via their website, unbeatableeatables.net.
The store will be open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday except for catering orders.