Since 1955 Hartle’s Subs has been going strong as kind of an ICON in our area. The stories of how Mrs. Hartle wanted to slice tomato’s herself, by hand, and how the cold cut subs would be stacked one on top of the other, already made, ready to go out the door on a Friday, are a daily reminder of the importance of keeping everything the same. But what seems to bring the Hartle’s memories back quicker than anything is to just mention the smell of “those Hartle’s onions” you can still smell them all the way down S. Potomac Street!
September 2004, Rich and Paula Robertson bought the family name and recipe’s held so dear by Mrs. Hartle from her daughter Beverly Shifflett who, according to Mrs. Hartle’s will, received the business and recipes upon her mothers’ death. She then moved Hartle’s Subs to 1301 Marshall Street in Hagerstown.
Since then the Robertson’s have done their best keeping everything the way it was when they purchased it. Re-opening the S. Potomac Street store in Nov. 2008. “It was meant to be” according to the Robertson’s. Who, not only re-opened the over 40 year location, but opened two days prior to the annual Mummer’s Parade.
A lot of traditions have revolved around Hartle’s Subs, we had no idea how many when we purchased the business almost seven years ago. Hartle’s still makes the Regular and the Plain the way they used too. If you forgot which is which they had a poem. Regular is hot and Plain is not. One of our very good friends has often told us about when she was a child her father was an over the road truck driver and when he came home he always stopped at Hartle’s for a whole roast beef, a whole cold cut, a whole ham and cheese and a turkey and cheese. Once he took them home her father wasn’t sure if the children were happy to see him or the subs! She would explain that her mother would quarter them so all of the children could try each one if that was their desire.
Hartle’s continues to go strong with the same onion smell and that will never change, but we have modernized a little according to Rich Robertson. We have added a few things along the way. We have different soups everyday Monday-Friday and recently added wraps, salads, onion rings, wings with a variety of sauces, boneless wings also. And recently a third location in Waynesboro. We have added online ordering so our customers can pick up their orders with little to no wait.
And with having three locations we have also added a general manager to the mix. It is very important to us that we keep everything in all three store’s the same. It’s not going to be beneficial to try and change the sauce on the Big Mac according to Robertson and we feel the same way about our sandwiches. If you get a sandwich or a bowl of chili in Waynesboro we want it to taste the same as Marshall Street and South Potomac St.
Along the way there have been other’s who have claimed to be Hartle’s Subs but all in all there is no comparison. We are who we are and we want families to be able to come in and sit down enjoy a meal without breaking the bank.
The Hartle family started as a family owned business and will remain that way. The recipe for the flying saucer hasn’t changed or the hot sauce only the name of the family who owns it. And they have done their best to keep this area’s memories as fresh as Hartle’s ingredients.