'A cult favorite': Let the Publix craze begin

Publix Guns
Posted at 10:04 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 23:18:51-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — By late 2024, The Fountains at Palomar will welcome its largest tenant: Publix.

The Florida-based grocery chain announced Thursday it will open its first location in Lexington. The location will be its third in Kentucky, following two stores in Louisville that will open in 2023.

"I will be in line first thing trying to get that 'Pub Sub,'" said Carson Carby, who was eating with a friend at Papi's Mexican Restaurant in the Palomar shopping center Thursday.

Carby was referring to the signature Publix sandwich, which has become popular throughout the southern United States.

"Subway is like second-tier to Pub Subs," Carby said. "I don't know what it is, but I think it's like the freshness and the flavors. It's just different. It's not like your normal sandwich."

Carby's mom lives in Florida, so she has become well acquainted with the store.

"It's definitely like a cult favorite honestly," Carby said.

Her friend, however, has never stepped foot in a Publix.

"I might have to go to Florida to try it," Carson Stanifer joked. "I don't know why everyone's hyping it up so much, but I need to figure it out."

Stanifer said the hype around Publix reminds him of when Buc-ee's opened in Richmond.

"Everybody in Richmond has gone to Buc-ee's," Stanifer said. "You get asked if you went to Buc-ee's."

While Carby and Stanifer were enjoying margaritas outside, Marcos Valdes was inside, giddy about the news that Publix would soon be his neighbor.

"There will be more foot traffic," Valdes said. "And that's going to mean, hopefully, more business for us."

Valdes is the owner of Papi's Mexican Restaurant. He opened his third location in the Fountains at Palomar about 15 months ago, becoming one of the first tenants there. He heard about the Publix announcement Thursday morning.

"I said [to our staff], 'We need to have a meeting and we need to see how we are going to capitalize on that,'" Valdes said. "I don't have any ideas just yet, but we are going to sit down and think and brainstorm."