Earl’s Court Courts the Financial District


The food-court trend seems to be under way (see: FoodParc, the Plaza Food Hall), and now it’s made its way to the Financial District. Enter Earl’s Court, which opened Monday, a John Street mess hall with seven branded vendors, including Earl of Sandwich, Billy’s Bakery, and the Original SoupMan.

Lunchtime in the Financial District is particularly competitive. Not just for restaurants, but for the mass of workers as well. With long lunch breaks becoming increasingly frowned upon, it’s hard to spend 20 minutes waiting to order at some of the more popular choices, like Maiden Lane’s Alfanoose, and Toloache Taqueria. So, a new option will certainly be greeted with enthusiasm from the ‘hood. Well, from almost everyone.

Many restaurants in the area are already faced with similar competitors. Baoguette recently moved down a few blocks to Liberty Street and is now slinging its Sloppy Baos mere steps from Nicky’s, which also specializes in banh mi. There are the two chopped salad giants, Chop’t and Just Salad, one on Maiden Lane and one on Pearl Street. And now, a little sandwich battle may be imminent.

When Earl of Sandwich opens in Earl’s Court today, it is sure to encroach on recent-newcomer Potbelly’s territory; the two shops sit just one block away on Gold Street and serve a similar roster of hot sammies. Each has a version of the meatball sub, an Italian option, and a signature turkey sandwich — at Potbelly it’s the A Wreck, while Earl’s does an eponymous club. At least we know which one Robert Sietsema would choose.

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