New restaurant specializing in sandwiches opening next month in Fairfield

The owner of a new Fairfield restaurant says she knew she had the “perfect” location for the business the moment she saw it.

The Sandwich Cafe is scheduled to open in mid-July at 690 Nilles Road in Fairfield next door to Hot Head Burritos and across the street from Fairfield Municipal Court.

The business, which specializes in fresh-to-order deli panini, sandwiches, bagels and wraps, debuted at 5574 Eureka Drive in Fairfield Twp. in July 2017, but closed in October 2018 when owner Melissa Portillo realized the location wasn’t easily accessible for a lunch crowd.

“I had so many people reaching out after we closed asking when we were going to reopen,” said Portillo. “I know that COVID-19 (regulations) will require changes, but I’m a nurse, so I’m ready for the challenge.”

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The new version of The Sandwich Cafe will feature an expanded menu, one that will add salads, soups and a Sunday mini-breakfast menu that will include Belgian waffles with a choice of various toppings.

Portillo, of Fairfield, said she has been looking for a new location since she closed the Fairfield Twp. one but had not found the right one until now. Two possible spots for a new Fairfield location fell through late last year, one where the property owner said he had to demolish the site to create a parking lot for another building and another where a shopping center owner’s partner rented out a storefront as Portillo was about to view the site.

She said she jumped at the chance to be at the Nilles Road storefront because “they don’t last long over here if you find one.”

“As soon as I (saw) it through the window, I was like, ‘It’s perfect,’” Portillo said.

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The new 2,100-square-foot restaurant is more than double the size of the previous location and offers additional parking and better visibility in an easy-to-access shopping plaza, she said.

“With serving lunch, we needed to be in a location where customers can quickly stop in and go rather than sitting on Route 4 at a turnaround and light for 15 minutes,” Portillo said.

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