For more than half a century, Antone's Famous Po' Boys has gotten daily deliveries from Royal Bakery on Fairview Street in Montrose. Today was no different. Hidden in the back of the North Post Oak office space of Legacy Restaurants, which owns both Antone's and the Original Ninfa's on Navigation, the staff at the Antone's commissary turns those crusty rolls into between 35,000 and 40,000 sandwiches in an average week. Around the times of holidays and major sporting events, that number climbs closer to 50,000, says Legacy CEO Jonathan Horowitz.
That's a few more than Jalal Antone was making when he opened Antone's Import Co. on Taft Street in 1962. That store closed in 2004 following the death of his wife Josephine—it's now the Pass & Provisions. Today, Legacy operates two Antone's (one on San Felipe, one on West T.C. Jester) and a kiosk in Greenway Plaza. Another restaurant, out west on Barker Cypress Road, will open next year. Another kiosk, in the Downtown underground, will open soon. Any other Houston restaurants using the Antone's name are unaffiliated but pay Legacy a royalty fee to use the moniker.
The massive number of turkey, tuna, "Original" and "Super Original" (a double-meat version of the same Italian-style sub) owes to supplying 230 grocery stores: H-E-B, Randall's and Kroger, with a few independents peppered in for good measure. The distribution area covers Katy to Beaumont, College Station to Galveston, but Horowitz says he's working to expand to western Louisiana and Austin. He adds that Clifford Antone, nephew of Jalal and owner of famous Austin blues venue Antone's has told him, "I want to serve your sandwiches!"
But how exactly does the magic happen? We followed the assembly line to find out.