Compliments Only, the hit sub shop born out of the pandemic and grounded in positivity, is moving into a new, bigger location in Dupont Circle. The 10-inch-long sandwiches will be landing in the former Sorellina (2029 P Street, NW) space by early this summer.
Pete Sitcov and Emily Cipes debuted Compliments Only on the lower 14th Street NW strip in December 2020 when the two needed a new place to work after Coconut Club, the island-style hangout by Union Market (where Sitcov was sous chef and Cipes was co-owner and general manager), temporarily closed.
The lease is up at the 14th Street location, but the team, which includes Sitcov, Cipes, and Rob Lliteras, needed a bigger space anyway. Plus, “Dupont Circle is cool and we want to eat breakfast at Bagels, Etc. every day,” Cipes told Eater via email.
The petite Dupont shop, with 1,125-square foot and just 15 seats, is actually a lot bigger than Compliments Only’s current location (1630 14th St NW), with just three stools in the front window.
The biggest change though is oven. “We currently only have one induction burner and a crockpot, so this is a big deal,” Cipes said. The old-school deli menu, with a nostalgic vibe that comes from using simple, recognizable ingredients, will return with all the favorites, like The Teamster Italian sub with ham, capicola, and Genoa salami, along with hot and sweet peppers, onions, oil and vinegar, and shredded lettuce. Plus a few more options will join the menu thanks to the oven.
3877 designs is handling the interior and including “personal tchotchkes everywhere” while the colors and some design elements tip the cap to traditional American tattoo work. “Lots of elements in the design really reflect who we are people,” Cipe says.
While the new shop will invite diners to walk in, take a ticket, and order a sandwich face-to-face with a real person, Compliments Only will still be available for online ordering and pick-up through all the delivery apps.
The sub shop doesn’t have any expansions in the works at the moment. “One day,” Cipes says. “But for now, we’re just happy about having an oven.”