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Ike's Place to open in Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jun 13, 2015
The "Doomsday," "Kryptonite," "Pastrami-Charmed Life" and "Steph Curry One" will soon be coming to Palo Alto.

In case you're unfamiliar, that means cult favorite Bay Area sandwich shop Ike's Place, known for inventive sandwich names that match equally inventive ingredient combinations, will be opening an outpost in downtown Palo Alto this summer.

The #63, or the "Herbert Hoover" at Ike's Place features ham, bacon, American cheese, mozzarella sticks, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, banana peppers and a double heaping of Ike's "dirty sauce." Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Weekly.

Owner Ike Shehadeh confirmed Saturday (after posting the news to social media) that he's taken over the lease of 401 Lytton Ave., the former home of John's Cafe. The cafe closed this January after three years of operation.

"I'm really pumped to be back in Palo Alto," Shehadeh said, referencing his exit from a location on the Stanford University campus last year. Since 2009, he had run a popular outpost of Ike's out of Stanford's Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, but lost a bid to re-up on his contract in April 2014, despite a petition to keep Ike's on campus that gained more than 1,000 signatures.

Shehadeh said he's required to make some American with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to the Lytton Avenue space, but has already submitted plans to the city and hopes to be open in August.

The menus at the almost 15 Ike's Place locations are "95 percent the same," he said, so expect to see all of the classics, but each location does take on some of the local charm. There will be some "secret" and Palo Alto and/or Stanford-specific sandwiches, though Shehadeh hasn't determined what they'll be yet.

"Also, I may test out 'Ike's Pizza,'" he said. He's been wanting to open up a pizza place but hasn't yet served any of his creations publicly. He's been developing his own pizza sauce, and at least one combination would be a pizza version of the "Menage A Trois" sandwich, which comes with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, Halal chicken, honey mustard, pepper jack, honey and Swiss cheese.

"It's not only a great sandwich, but a great pizza," Shehadeh said.

Stay tuned for updates on an official opening date. Get excited by reading our 2011 review of the Stanford location: For the love of sandwiches.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

Great addition to the downtown Palo Alto restaurant scene!

Posted by Hungry, a resident of another community,
on Jun 14, 2015 at 1:41 pm

What's going to replace O Sushi on the corner of Waverly and University? Busy, busy stuff going on inside., O Sushi sign on building removed.

Posted by Bonnie, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Awesome!!! Can't wait! Miss having those incredible sandwiches on the Stanford campus!

Posted by Sarah1009, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jun 14, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Ike's is the best!

Posted by Iker Lifer, a resident of Atherton,
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:36 am

Just out of curiosity, is it Ike's policy to always open in places with difficult parking? But hey, if it keeps the per-check price high, more power to him.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

There is a city garage between Uni and Lytton with entrances on Bryant or Florence. At most a 2-block walk. Not difficult at all - stop wasting time looking for street parking...

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 7:14 am

@Iker Lifer:

Ike's strategy is to build stores in high-density areas. It's not so much as keeping the per-check price high, but to ensure volume (number of customers).

Whether you arrive by car, foot, or bicycle, the amount each diner will eat is the same.

Note that building stores in high-density areas is a well-observed business practice throughout the world (Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York City, London, etc.), not just one specific sandwich shop chain.

Build the store in a place where enough people walk through the front door to be profitable. How they get there is not the primary concern of the business owner.

Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:44 am

Nice. Closer to MP and easier parking than the one in RC.

However, Woodside Deli is still the best sandwiches around.

Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:03 am

I cast my "best" vote for Driftwood Deli and Market, on El Camino in PA. They catered for my wife's memorial service reception a year ago.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:08 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

I am so happy! I really missed Ike's when they were at Stanford. Since Ike's left, I've been eating at the Driftwood Deli too (which is really good). Still, I have been missing the Pizzle at Ike's.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:02 am

Sounds delicious. I will definitely try out Ike's.

Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

We could use an Ike's in MV since most of our sandwich shop choices are limited to Togos and Subway, although one alternative is Roger's Deli in the Whisman neighborhood. It has a pretty good following for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week, with reasonable prices.

Ike's would be good for a higher end sandwich in the $10-$12 range...

Posted by John, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

Good luck, Ike. There are a lot of great people around here!

- John, John's Cafe

Posted by Menloshopper, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:21 am

Definitely close enough to Menlo Park to bike over and grab a great sandwich. Can't wait!

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