The Original Lee’s Hoagie House Closes After Almost 60 Years

The original Lee’s Hoagie House on Cheltenham Avenue has closed. When Lee’s started at 19th and Cheltenham in Mount Airy in 1953 they became part of the Philadelphia food tradition and the neighborhood. Since that first opening Lee’s has licensed 16 more shops across the Greater Philadelphia area.

The Insider reports that the original Lee’s changed ownership last year and ever since then the quality of the namesake brand had not been maintained at that location. The site was rebranded Lee’s at Cheltenham when the new licensee took over, but Lee’s partners have asked the shop to remove the “Lee’s” altogether. The shop then closed.

Luckily for Philadelphians those 16 other locations are still up and running and this change does not affect any other shops. After almost 60 years it is sad to see an original go, but it looks like the Lee’s brand is here to stay.

Lee’s Hoagie House [Official Site]

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  • Jill

    Wow. My first job was at Lee’s Abington back in the mid-80s. I thought of the Cheltenham shop as the mothership.

  • Macie

    The Lee’s Hoagie House in Montgomeryville just doesn’t cut it anymore either. Over the last year or so I’ve found the hoagies’s just aren’t the same. They aren’t “built” as well as have been the one’s I’ve been used to for over 57 years after growing up around the corner from the original Lee’s on Cheltenham Ave. Instead of staying tight when sliced through the paper into portions, the contents just fall out. Anyone can make a sloppy hoagie but Lee’s was tight and “dense” which was a significant characteristic of a real “Lee’s Hoagie”. Anyone else notice the change?

  • Rob

    Very sad to see the original Lee’s location go. I grew up in Cheltenham and used to go here regularly. I remember all the faces (especially the “Big Man” whose name I no longer recall) and the hoagies there were always excellent, as reliable as can be.

    I have been to several other Lee’s locations. I find that none are just like the original although generally not horrible. But the competition in the hoagie market is much more fierce than back in the day. Now you have Slack’s, Primo’s and high-end gourmet markets using top quality meats and cheeses.

    Oh well, RIP Original Lee’s!

  • heshy adelman

    anyone remember seymour==son in law to the owner????

    the big guys name is KAY….

    lee’s originated in atlantic city and they still make
    a hoagie second to none…

  • Michael

    I remember Seymour and the old man, Lee, too, though I’d love to know his family name. Lee’s wife also used to work at the 19th and Cheltenham branch — the only one that existed at the time. My father’s pediatric office was right across the street in Lynnewood Gardens, so we were dangerously close to Lee’s — and ate way too many hoagies. I liked the Lee’s Special, Cheltenham and Imperial. Wow, they were great!