Undergraduates like to live in a cashless society, and when the new Subway opened at the corner of Washington and Division with a nonperforming credit card reader, a less-experienced franchise owner might have had a meltdown. But Denise Munroe is an old pro at this. She calmly directed customers to TCF’s ATM across the street and offered $1 discounts on foot-long subs. Problem solved.

Munroe at one time owned seven Subways in downriver Detroit. It’s a franchise she chose because “I liked the simplicity of it. I didn’t want to work with a fry cooker.” She gradually sold them off when it looked like her husband, Randy, a yardmaster for CN Railroad freight stations in Flat Rock, Toledo, and Dearborn (“like an air traffic controller, but on the ground,” he says), was going to be transferred to Champaign, Illinois. He eventually decided to take a demotion and stay in the area, and pretty soon Denise was itching to run a Subway again. She chose to start over in Ann Arbor, even though the Munroes still live in New Boston. Their youngest daughter, Jennifer, lives in Ann Arbor and works for Hyundai.

“I just love it here. I want to move here. I can’t say enough about the area,” Denise says of Ann Arbor in general. In particular, her spot on the ground floor of Sterling 411 Lofts, a student-oriented high-rise, is a sweet one. Though downtown and campus are saturated with restaurants, Munroe not only has a captive clientele at the Lofts, which she says is fully occupied, but by some miracle hers is the only restaurant on the entire block. The building’s other retail space, currently empty, will be a high-end grocery if current negotiations (by a campus area restaurateur who asked not to be named until a contract is signed) are successful.

Munroe is proud of her new Subway–she chose some of the more expensive design options in the company’s portfolio: “We went with the high tops [tall tables] and upholstered booths, which gives it more of a trendy, upper-class feel, rather than a cafeteria look.”

Subway recently expanded into breakfast, with a menu that fits neatly into the Subway assembly-line sandwich process. “I really, really believe in this product. We have flat breads, white or yellow egg omelets, bacon, ham, veggies. You can get a really nice breakfast sandwich for $2.50,” says Munroe.

Subway, 411 E. Washington, Suite A2. 761-7000. Mon.-Wed. 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Thurs. & Fri. 7 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 8 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. www.subway.com