"Next year, I plan to expand the enterprise, offering franchise stores throughout the local area," e-mails Barney. "It is time."
Barney and I still haven't talked on the phone, but he struck up an e-mail correspondence after reading my review. His messages explained that he opened Barney's after "semi-retiring" in 1992 from Gai's Seattle French Baking Co. as a day shift supervisor.
"In my wildest dreams, I never ever thought of opening a sandwich shop, yet I could not find a decent pastrami sandwich in the Puget Sound area, so I said, 'Why not?'," he writes.
Barney attributes his success partly to connecting with the right meat purveyor in Chicagoland: "The genesis of a really good pastrami product lies in the curing and smoking process," he writes. He believes the partnership deserves more outlets, and was in serious talks with potential backers of an Issaquah store. That deal fell through just before they signed a contract, so Barney's investigating other locations.
"All areas are open," he says.
But, for now, you'll still have to drive to Everett for a sandwich (and maybe to talk to Barney about your wildest pastrami franchise dreams.)