ThunderCloud Subs turns 40

ThunderCloud Subs, a Brenda Thompson Communications client since 2013, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. ThunderCloud was the first sub sandwich shop in Austin when it opened on Lavaca St. in 1975, and there were plenty of Austinites who didn’t know what a sub was. Today, ThunderCloud has 30 stores and each one has its own personality.

thundercloud-subs-40years-insetThere was something magical about 1975 in Austin. The same year that ThunderCloud started, so did Austin City Limits, Antone’s, and the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. It’s true that everything was a little simpler back in the day—ThunderCloud has six subs on its original menu, and 27 today.

ThunderCloud will be celebrating all year long with special promotions and surprises in its stores (stay tuned for the latest at

While talking to ThunderCloud’s co-founders and owners about its founding and early days, we uncovered some groovy facts. Here are six things about ThunderCloud Subs you probably didn’t know:

  • Stevie Ray Vaughn was a regular at ThunderCloud’s Riverside location. His usual order? The egg salad sub.
  • During the first attempted burglary of a ThunderCloud store, the thief tried to steal the cash register but it weighed 300 pounds. Guess the joke was on him…
  • Co-founder John Meddaugh drew the first outline of the original ThunderCloud store on a piece of paper, and their first plumber drew on top of it. That was the construction plan.
  • A few things ThunderCloud tried and eventually abandoned: delivery, hamburgers, and “frogurt” (buying a machine the size of a telephone booth that cost $6,000—almost as much as it cost to open the first store).
  • Ann Richards was a regular at the Lavaca St. ThunderCloud.
  • In the early days, ThunderCloud’s bread came from Navarro Federal Bakery (where Brick Oven Pizza is now on Red River), and they could change the amount of the day’s order up until midnight the night before.

Happy 40th anniversary to one of Austin’s most iconic businesses, ThunderCloud Subs!

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