Chicago: Simple Sandwich Parks the Truck For Good

It'll be a while before this man gets a Simple Sandwich again. Photo: Andrew Nawrocki

by David Tamarkin |

It'll be a while before this man gets a Simple Sandwich again. Photo: Andrew Nawrocki

Simple Sandwich‘s website promised that the truck—in hibernation for the winter—would be “back out sandwiching in the Spring.” Well, it feels like spring to me, so I called Simple’s owner, David Wojtonik, and asked him when the truck would be back.

“Good question,” he said. “It’s not coming back.”

Wojtonik sold his truck with the expectation that he would get a prep-on-site truck once Chicago’s street food laws changed. But “once I realized that the legislation wasn’t really going anywhere I started focusing my attention on a brick-and-mortar store,” he says.

That store, a “gourmet grab-and-go” that essentially takes Simple Sandwich from a truck to a storefront, has been something Wojtonik has been talking about for months. But this is the first time he’s announced that he’ll be putting his truck away in order to do it.

“[The truck] was successful,” Wojtonik says, noting that the (relatively) low start-up costs made for easy entry into the business. “I don’t want people to think that it’s a reflection of food trucks not working in Chicago.”

Fair enough. But for those of us wishing for a more-robust food truck scene, seeing a ship go down isn’t easy. And had the slow-moving legislation been passed by now, perhaps Simple Sandwich would still be on the streets.

The comforting thing to Simple Sandwich fans is that they’ll eventually have access to the food again, though it will be a little while—Wojtonik wants to open the store downtown, but is still raising capital and hasn’t found a space yet. In the meantime, if you’re looking for Simple’s chocolate chip cookies (made by Christie’s Cookies), they’re still being served from the Simple Sandwich truck—now known as 5411 Empanadas.