Capriotti’s brings ‘fanatically delicious’ sandwiches to Tucson

After 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, Jose Alvarez moved to Tucson, ready to start his next business venture.

He noticed a lack of food diversity in the area and that inspired him and his friend, Ed Mingus, to open Tucson’s first Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, 1830 E. Broadway Boulevard. Two more locations are slated to open in the city.

Capriotti’s is known for its wide array of sandwiches, including The Bobbie, made with oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo.

“I say it’s Thanksgiving in your mouth,” Alvarez said with a laugh.

“It’s turkey, cranberry and stuffing. You can have Thanksgiving year-round.”

Other menu offerings include the Capastrami, with hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and homemade coleslaw; and the cheesesteak with premium steak, chicken or Impossible plant-based meat and melted cheese plus hot or sweet peppers.

“Our classic cheesesteak has American cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and steak,” he said. “We also add hot and sweet peppers, which makes it a total game changer of a sandwich. This sandwich is totally amazing.”

Alvarez also enjoys the chicken chipotle crunch, made with grilled chicken, American cheese and topped with lettuce, tomato, crispy cheddar onions and chipotle ranch dressing; and the American Wagyu Slaw Be Joe, with American Wagyu beef, coleslaw, provolone cheese, Russian dressing and mayo.

Prices are reasonable — the Slaw Be Joe starts at $7.99 — and Alvarez chalked that up to a direct purchase from Snake River Farms, eschewing third-party pricing.

“We get to sell Wagyu beef at a cheaper price to the customers,” he said. “The Wagyu is delicious.”

Tucson Capriotti’s fans can download the CAPAddicts Rewards app on iOS and Android to earn and redeem rewards and score free food. Capriotti’s in Tucson offers catering for any event, from corporate events to birthday parties, with items such as party trays with cold subs, box lunches, or a hot homemade meatball bar.

Open since mid-April, the Tucson Capriotti’s offers an order-ahead option, in addition to third-party delivery services. The new shop brought 20 new jobs to Tucson.

Alvarez was born and raised in Southern California and joined the Air Force in 1997. One of his last tours before his 2017 retirement was a year and a half in Turkey.

“I requested to come back to Arizona to retire,” he said. “Luckily, I got Luke Air Force Base, near where my brother and parents live. I got to retire close to family.”

Since he retired, he worked as an airline mechanic, truck driver and utility company inspector.

“I was tired of working for other people,” he said. “I thought, ‘Let me see what I can do for myself.’ I had a good idea. I sold my rental home in Idaho and used that money as a down payment to open the business. I sold my house and used the equity to open Capriotti’s. I just couldn’t help myself. When we were hungry in Vegas, Capriotti’s was our go-to. I hope people in Tucson think the same way about it.”

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

1830 E. Broadway Boulevard, Tucson 520-771-8069

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