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Opening alert: Ike's Press at Stanford

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2016
A new grab-and-go version of Bay Area cult-sandwich favorite Ike's Place is now open on the Stanford University campus.

Dubbed "Ike's Press," the new location opened Monday, April 4, inside the McMurtry Building for the Department of Art and Art History at 355 Roth Way.

Don’t get too excited though: Ike's Press isn't a permanent tenant at this space. It’s the first installment in a series of pop-up vendors that will rotate at this location quarterly. Ike's will operate at the building's Fetter Family Café through the end of summer quarter in August 2016, according to Shannon Silva, business & program manager for Facilities and Capital Planning in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

"Since this café is a new location and housed in a unique building, we thought it would be the ideal location to try the popular pop-up concept at Stanford," Silva wrote in an email. "This concept will allow us to determine the right fit for the location."

Ike's was chosen to debut the concept out of 20 vendors, Silva said.

As reported here earlier, the new McMurtry Building location won’t be like most Ike's. With only a TurboChef oven that doesn’t allow for the company's usual churning-out of hundreds of high-quality toasted sandwiches every day, this Ike's will instead be a "cold version" with no toasted sandwiches and a limited menu, Ike’s owner and namesake Ike Shehadeh said in a previous interview. There will always be four to five staple sandwiches available, like the popular "Menage A Trois" (Halal chicken, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, honey, pepper jack, cheddar and Swiss cheese) and the "Matt Cain" (roast beef, salami and turkey with Ike's "Godfather" sauce and provolone cheese), plus five or so that rotate.

But this Ike's will also offer something new: cold grab-and-go sandwiches, all chosen or designed specifically because they will sell well cold. All will be made within the last hour, Shehadeh said. You might see, for example, a pastrami, cream cheese and "Jim Harbaugh" sauce sandwich that’s best served cold.

The grab-and-go sandwiches will be slightly cheaper than the made-to-order ones, from $7.50 to $9 instead of about $8 to $10, Shehadeh said. There will also be coffee, to-go salads, snacks and desserts for sale.

Shehadeh has been trying to open a new sandwich shop on campus or in the Palo Alto area ever since the contract ran out for his popular location at Stanford's Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center in 2014. The closure led to student protests, including a resolution passed by the student government in support of keeping Ike's on campus and even the formation of a group called "Ike’s Army." The Engineering Center location was eventually replaced with a "flexitarian" cafe.

Shehadeh is also still waiting to open a full-service outpost in downtown Palo Alto. He landed the lease at 401 Lytton Ave., the former home of John’s Cafe, last June, but has said he’s been held up waiting for various city approvals.
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 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Thanks!, a resident of Stanford,
on Apr 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

Many thanks for the heads-up.

 +   7 people like this
Posted by very inefficient, a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

The line is almost as long as at Ike's former campus location. Very few sandwiches are pre-made: 2 employees work to make them as they're ordered. There is only 1 employee running the cash register. It took 45 minutes for me to pick up a cold, pre-made sandwich at lunchtime. Unless they can work out the hiccups (i.e. hire more staff) I won't be back.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chris, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I've been there a few times and have never had to wait more than a few minutes. (Which is something I certainly couldn't never about the old Ike's on campus.) Employees are friendly and, at least for the time being, you get a free bag of chips with your sandwich. I'll be sad when it's gone at the end of the summer.

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