An American Story

Sub Station II was founded in 1975 by Mr. Dominic Ruffalo. Hoagies, grinders, subs, or whatever you prefer to call them had long been popular in the Northeast where Mr. Ruffalo was from. He decided to introduce them to the south when he opened his first restaurant, The Sub Station, in Sumter, South Carolina. He brought with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the restaurant business. For years, his family owned and operated one of the largest, oldest and finest restaurants in New Jersey.

Despite his background, Mr. Ruffalo was amazed at the success of his first experimental and unpretentious submarine sandwich restaurant. Within several months, Donnie, as he preferred to be called, was approached by people interested in following his example. In January of 1976 the first franchised Sub Station II unit was launched in Charleston, SC. In May and June of that same year two other franchises were awarded: one in downtown Sumter, SC and another in Columbia, SC. All three of these units remain in operation today.

Word spread quickly. Sub Station II had discovered an heretofore untapped market and its franchisees were recouping their modest investments in relatively short periods of time. But rather than roll out new franchises as fast as possible, Mr. Ruffalo chose to service his existing franchisees, ensuring quality and strengthening the Sub Station II operations for the long haul.

Sadly, Mr. Ruffalo passed away in November 2011, but his dream lives on. Since that time his daughters, Sandra and Susan, and his brothers, John and Charles, have been working diligently to continue and improve upon the foundation that Donnie had built over the last 43 years. 

Today Sub Station II has over 40 locations spread throughout 5 states in the Southeast. With Sub Station II’s recipe for success and reinvigorated corporate team, it’s just beginning to move in a direction that will undoubtedly make it one of the major sub sandwich chains in the future.


Our corporate office is now located at 1237 Gadsden Street Suite 100, Columbia, SC 29201.




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