That '70s Shop

Grum’s has been a Coventry fixture for 32 years, so when Ilene MacLellan took over five years ago, she kept it vintage.
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Here are some favorites we uncovered in Coventry. Check the map for addresses by clicking here.

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City Buddha
These hand-carved and painted wooden decorations from Bali — made to resemble dragons, horses, even the Hindu god Baruda — were traditionally placed in children’s rooms to keep away evil spirits. $17-$30

These chocolate creations are made with whole milk in an old-fashioned milkshake machine and served in a 20-ounce tin. It’s worth the extra 75 cents to add bananas or homemade peanut butter to the mix. $4.59

The rustic red brick floors, the wooden benches and, most importantly, the subs haven’t changed since David Grumbach opened his shop on Coventry in June 1977.

The laid-back vibe reminded self-proclaimed hippie Ilene MacLellan of times she’d spent in the neighborhood when she was younger. It’s also one of the reasons she bought Grum’s Sub Shoppe in March 2006 after taking a look at the place a few months earlier.

“It took me back, ... and it just felt really homey,” she recalls.

MacLellan says owning a restaurant seemed logical after waiting tables for 28 years. It also allowed her to make her own schedule and spend more time with her five kids.

She’d been eyeing another restaurant, but Grum’s was a carryout joint, it didn’t have a liquor license to contend with, and she could handle payroll, ordering and invoices herself.

And unlike some new restaurant owners, MacLellan knew she’d be changing very little about the shop after taking over.

So you can still grab the restaurant’s namesake, the Grum, an Italian sub stuffed with smoked ham, capicola, Genoa salami, provolone, banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion and the shop’s secret blend of signature spices.

“People know when they walk in they’re going to get the same thing,” she says.

Even with the arrival of Dave’s Cosmic Subs in 2005 and Jimmy John’s in 2006, she says Grum’s is still going strong.

“I have had customers come in here, bring a sub and say, ‘Throw this away and make me a real sub,’ ” MacLellan claims.

Today, Coventry isn’t the only Grum’s location. MacLellan’s son, Eddie Keeny, opened a Solon shop on Miles Road in 2009. But if you want a taste of the ’70s with your sandwich, the corner store at the north end of Coventry is the only way to go.

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