Initially, it looked as if the man was hungry and just wanted a sandwich.
But as the clerk began ringing up his order at 7:12 Tuesday night, police say, the guy dug into his computer bag, whipped out a hammer and demanded cash.
The Subway employee complied, and the man fled the restaurant at 409 Waller Avenue with $275.07, according to police reports. He took the sandwich, too.
Two workers and several customers were in the store at the time, but no injuries were reported.
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Ed Shearer, owner of the restaurant, said this was the first time in the location's seven years that his store has been robbed.
"It's unfortunate," he said. "It's one of the problems you have with a business. You're susceptible to that type of crime."
Officers had not yet nailed the suspect Wednesday. The robber was described by police only as a black man with a beard. Witnesses said he appeared to be about 5 feet, 10 inches tall.
Anyone with information relating to the robbery should call Lexington police at (859) 258-3600.