Crazy Carl’s caters to sub culture in Front Royal

By Josette Keelor

FRONT ROYAL — Brothers Eric and Jeff Digges do things their own way.

It explains their decision to open a restaurant in downtown Front Royal, even when told business might be tough. It fueled their decision to focus on sub sandwiches. It also led them to name their business Crazy Carl’s Oven Baked Subs after their younger brother Kyle.

They opened a sub shop because, as Eric put it, “We love subs.”

“We saw a void in Front Royal, I think saw it as our way to share our passion for and love for a good sub,” he said.

Crazy Carl’s Subs moved into its location at 239 E. South St. last June 5, where Celio’s Pizza and Italian Grill used to be.

Jeff, who already owned Fox’s Pizza at 1202 North Royal Ave., said so far business has been great.

“People assume that Front Royal isn’t a good place to do business for some reason,” he said. “And it’s interesting because Front Royal is one of those little micro-bubbles, that the money that’s earned here stays here.”

They open at 11 a.m. each day, but the brothers show up hours earlier to bake bread and cookies and make the sauces. Almost everything they sell is as fresh as they can make it onsite, and any sub can be ordered hot or cold.

The Members Only sandwich featuring slow-roasted turkey, country ham and bacon has been a crowd favorite.

The Big Phil(ly), their take on grilled steak and cheese, with beef, provolone, an onion and pepper mix, salt and pepper, lettuce, tomato and mayo on homemade bread, is named for Jeff’s childhood friend.

Other subs they offer are the Beefy with roast beef, cheddar and creamy horseradish; Turkey Slaw, with oven-roasted turkey, bacon, cheddar, cole slaw and homemade Thousand Island dressing, the T-B-C, with turkey, bacon, cheddar and ranch; the Italian, with ham, provolone, Genoa salami, capicola and Italian dressing; the Chicken Breast with mayo and the Ham and Swiss with mustard. They also do a meatball sub on weekends.

Salad options are the cobb with turkey, egg, bacon and bleu cheese crumbles; the chef, with ham, turkey and cheddar; the roasted chicken with chicken, bacon and cheddar; and the garden.

Customers also have the choice of building their own sub on 6-inch or foot-long white or wheat bread. The 6-inch subs are $5, and the 12-inch are $8.50.

The Digges, of White Post, say they’ve found loyal customers in Front Royal who like the concept Crazy Carl’s offers.

This is their first business venture together, though Eric said he and Jeff, 33 and 32 respectively, have 20 years experience in the food business.

“I think we’ve done everything between us, between fast food and fine dining,” he said.

But there’s a third person involved too, and that would be Carl, whose smiling face adorns the sign outside Eric and Jeff’s shop as well as their website and Facebook page.

Carl is their younger brother Kyle, who also lives in White Post and somehow developed the nickname, Jeff said — “and he hates it.”

“So, of course, as loving older brothers we decided that, that being said, we would put his name on the side of a sign with his face on it and his improper name, and that was our tip of the hat to him.”

Eric agreed: “It’s basically an inside joke that made it to a sign.”

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or