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Tea Pot Sandwich Pays Tribute to The Coffee Pot 

Catherine Pegram

Local businesses work hard to compete for customers. So you might think they’d be glad when another store closes. But that’s not the case for a soup and sandwich shop in Bangor, paying respect to another restaurant. When it comes to soup and lobster rolls, Jimmy V’s is a standout.But it’s a new sandwich on the menu that’s getting a lot of attention now. Chef Jimmy Vardamis says “I’ve always wanted to do the Tea Pot and I never did it because it was exactly almost like the Coffee Pot – and nobody can compete with the Coffee Pot.”The Tea Pot Deluxe, created by Vardamis, is in honor of the Deluxe Coffee Pot – a sandwich made famous by the shop of the same name on State Street.It closed on New Year’s Eve Day after selling the trademark meal for nearly 60 years. “The day they closed, I said now’s the time to do the Tea Pot and my wife says yeah, now’s the time to do the Tea Pot.”Jimmy V’s staffer Heidi Swedberg says,”He talked about it on the Wednesday and we started selling them on Thursday and they flew out of here like crazy. One woman, the first day, bought 14 of them.”Lots of customers, it seems, are taking a liking to the Tea Pot – even those, like John Conners, who said the Coffee Pot could never be duplicated. “Same as the Coffee Pot. It has the Genoa salami, the ham and the cheeses and tomatoes and onions. You know if you kept your eyes closed, you’d think it was the Coffee Pot. Really, it was that close.”Vardamis even follows the Coffee Pot menu to make his sandwich – right down to the red pepper and oil.And though he knows the Tea Pot can’t replace a Bangor icon, he’s hoping customers will give it a chance. He’s even willing to put his money where their mouths are. “It may not be exactly the same, but it’ll be the closest you’ll ever get. And if you don’t like it – I’ll give you back your money… How’s that?!?”