Many Chicago locations in the city typically have lines close to the doors during the lunch rush, in areas saturated with alternatives that won't draw half the traffic (Subway, Jimmy John's, Quizno's, etc.).
I've been eating at PB for years around downtown Chicago. They are the Chipotle of sandwich shops...high quality, fast, reasonable price. And as you note, they have a really great, homey atmosphere which they do a real good job maintaining regardless of location.
That's what bugs me about him...even he will admit that he is 50/50 at best (even in today's blog he says that)...yet his positions are SO heavily biased and partisan. The lack of track record combined with such strong opinions tells me he has poor sources and his writing is just driven by special interest. People who say he's a tool for hedgies have a strong case.