Editor's Note: This is the 257th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - Chef Frank Volk said that when he came to town nobody seemed to know what a submarine sandwich was.
But hungry Marshall University students and other hungry folks quickly learned to love them when the popular sandwich chef opened his hole-in-the-wall shop at 1521 4th Ave. in August of 1964.
Prior to coming to Huntington and opening his little shop next door to the Marshall campus, Volk was a restaurant equipment salesman in the Baltimore area.
"When I got to Huntington," he recalled in a 1981 interview with Herald-Dispatch writer Dave Peyton, "I realized the potential for a shop specializing in sandwiches - not hamburgers and hotdogs, but sandwiches big enough to be filling and satisfying.
"The submarine steak sandwich was big on the East Coast at the time, but no one had ever heard of it here. At first it was sort of rough. People wouldn't buy a submarine because they didn't know what it was. Then the word started spreading and business began picking up."
Volk sliced his steak thin, cooked it on a flat-top grill and then seasoned it with a red pepper sauce made in the restaurant.
At first, he had buns shipped from Maryland because no local bakery offered them. But even after the buns were available locally, he continued to get them from the same Maryland bakery, as he believed the local versions couldn't match the quality of the buns from Maryland.
Later, the popular sandwich chef opened another shop where Graley Autobody's drive-in claim center is now located on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 13th Street.
Frank Volk died in 2010.