Now Open: Northside Sandwiches and The Firehouse Near ASU in Tempe

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Benjamin Leatherman
Northside Sandwiches on University Drive in Tempe near ASU.
Students at Arizona State University in Tempe have a pair of new places near campus where they can grab a bite between classes and also party up a storm after dark.

University Drive is now home to Northside Sandwiches and The Firehouse Tempe, two establishments that serve as eateries by day before transforming in nightspots when the sun goes down.

Much like many bars and restaurants in close proximity to ASU, the proprietors of Northside Sandwiches are hoping that students will make a short jaunt to their door for grub. They're located on a prime piece of real estate between College and Forrest avenues that's directly across the street from the campus' northern end (hence the name).

Owned by a trio of Tempe entrepreneurs, including Jay Johari (who also runs Vintage Lounge on Mill Avenue), Karl Freund, and Paul Derensis, Northside opened in late September and primarily offers deli-style sandwiches with fresh-sliced meats and cheeses, as well as bread from local bakeries.

Derensis says they've done everything possible to gear the place toward the Sun Devils crowd, including selling every sandwich for $6 each (which helps stretch mommy and daddy's money further), including a free sodas with every purchase, and offering discounts to those who have to use the paid parking lot behind the shop.

"We always got music playing, a chill kind of environment, a big ol' front patio with free wi-fi for people to come and do homework or waste time between classes," he says.

All 11 of their signature deli-style sandwiches boast college-oriented monikers, like the "Freshman 15" (thin-sliced steak, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and provolone, and garlic aioli) or one named after ASU football coach Todd Graham (grilled chicken, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and topped with fresh spinach). There are also a few cheekily named options like the "Wet Dream" and "Love Triangle."

Patrons aren't limited to what's on the menu, Derensis says, as Northside is like "any other deli" where folks can order up custom-built sandwiches.

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