For students who are craving the sweet and tangy flavor of the “We’re JUST Friends” or the savory taste of the “Ménage à Trois”, the dream of Ike’s Place finally coming to SF State is becoming a reality.
Ike Shehadeh, the owner of the famous sandwich shop, signed a lease with the Cesar Chavez Student Center and is in the process of making plans to open his newest Ike’s Place location on the lower level of the student center, replacing the New York Minute Deli.
“I can’t wait to get it open,” Shehadeh said. “I wish we had it open months and months ago.”
Shehadeh originally intended to open up at SF State at the beginning of February, but according to Leonard Corpus, the Retail Commercial Services Manager at the student center, Shehadeh had been busy with other business plans so the ideal open date has been pushed back.
“They were opening two other locations simultaneously, so that is the reason why they were held up a bit,” Corpus said.
Shehadeh just opened a new location in San Francisco at 16th and Sanchez streets, across the street from his old location. Shehadeh was evicted from the previous location last summer because his sandwich shop was so popular that the lines frequently reached down the block. As a result, the neighbors complained about the noise level and litter problems and the landlord filed for eviction.
Shehadeh said that he was not expecting the paperwork for the new location to take so long and that is what slowed down the process. Now that he has acquired the permit for that location, he is ready to focus on the SF State location and wants to open up in the next couple of weeks.
“The State project is the next project that is in line,” Shehadeh said. “I don’t see anything else that would get in the way.”
According to Corpus, now that the location has been secured, the next steps that Shehadeh must take include finalizing design plans and arranging for construction.
“We’re still a ways away,” Corpus said. “They still need to provide us plans on what they intend to do and those plans need to be approved.”
Corpus said these plans include deciding what their storefront will look like and possibly upgrading some appliances and electrical outlets. Nonetheless, students can rest assured, Ike’s Place is definitely going to move in.
“They signed the lease and have the keys,” Corpus said. “Hopefully if all goes well, they’ll be open some time in September.”
Shehadeh has a lot of plans for his new location. He plans to run the store similar to his other deli, located at Stanford University. Shehadeh said there will be two lines, one for custom orders and one to purchase ready made sandwiches.
“If you have to go to class, you can go in one queue and if you have time to wait, you can jump in the other one,” Shehadeh said.
The menu will also be very similar to the menu at the Stanford location, with many of the same favorite sandwiches that are responsible for making students’ mouths water. Shehadeh said that some of the names of the sandwiches will be changed to suit SF State. The price range will be similar to those at the Stanford location and half sandwiches will also be available.
Shehadeh said that he also wants to incorporate soups into the menu and possibly also breakfast sandwiches which would include eggs, cheese, and bacon for meat-eaters or veggie bacon to appeal to the vegetarian crowd.
Ike’s Place will have broad hours in order to appeal to students with morning classes and those who want to grab dinner in the evening.
Despite the large following and fan base of the eatery, the possibility of long lines and big crowds don’t scare Shehadeh.
“The first time we opened at Stanford there were 300 people and a three-hour wait,” Shedaheh said. “We’re used to big crowds.”
As the date of Ike’s Place’s opening grows nearer, the growl of student’s bellies is becoming more and more audible.
“Ike’s is definitely worth the wait,” said Francesca Leonard, 20, BECA junior. “My boyfriend and I are already talking about how we will eat there at least once a week, as I’m sure will be the case for many more of our peers.”