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Fink's Hoagies closes in Center City; owner says he could not find good help

"Unfortunately, I cannot clone myself and be at both Fink’s locations at the same time."

No more baguettes on Jeweler's Row.

Oh, there are still plenty of diamonds to be had, but not the crusty Liscio's rolls that were carved into sandwich gems at Fink's, the hoagie takeout spot tucked almost secretly behind a jewelry store at 132 S. Eighth St.

Dennis Fink, the Marine vet who opened the Center City branch of his longtime Northeast Philadelphia store in mid-2015, closed it abruptly last month over what he described as a staffing problem. In sum, two employees left at once on a Friday afternoon - one was asked to leave and a second quit with no notice - and he said he could not find qualified workers to fill the positions.

The closing is permanent, he said Sunday, Oct. 9.

"After reviewing numerous applications during the past four weeks, this issue still prevails," Fink wrote me in an email. "Unfortunately, I cannot clone myself and be at both Fink's locations at the same time."

"The quality of our product must be excellent and I cannot accept anything less.
Fink's has developed a stellar reputation over the past 12 years and has acquired numerous awards. In addition, my name and reputation with my customers is paramount to me.

"In our 15 months at our Center City location, we have demonstrated that a hoagie shop can take a small, offbeat hidden location and make it successful. The property owners were a huge plus in helping Fink's establish a base in Center City and Fink's will work hard to find a suitable replacement," Fink wrote.

"Most people equate success with money and feel I'm walking away from a potential gold mine, but I care more about growing a quality product where it's always a win-win for everyone," Fink told me.

Fink's will deliver party trays and "hoagie day" orders - that is, hoagie meals for 10 people or more - from the Tacony shop to Center City addresses.