breaking news: Ike’s Place Sandwiches has been served an eviction notice
This is my favorite sandwich destination in San Francisco and I’m not alone. In just a little over two short years of business, Ike’s has managed to achieve national recognition, which you wouldn’t think would be all that easy to achieve when your dealing with a food so ubiquitous in the American diet as the sandwich. He’s made one that is that good. Rolls are fresh-baked at the time of the order, meats are prepped on the premises, and a special sauce of mayo, garlic and around twenty other secret ingredients is baked right into the roll. A foodie culture has risen around Ike’s and the line is always present outside that shop (tip, avoid it by calling ahead;-). Of course, that also contributed to the problem, despite Ike’s efforts to accommodate the litigious neighbors who, by many accounts, were uncompromising and mean.
Ike’s was a positive force for the neighborhood. The Castro prides itself on fostering small local business to the exclusion (for the most part) of national chains. We actively preserve and maintain that quality of life, the unique character of the neighborhood in which we live, by keeping them out. But times are tough, rents are high (too high) and it’s hard for all those businesses to remain open. There are more and more empty store fronts and the neighborhood has to work to make opening a business viable again. In this playing field, Ike’s was not only a success story but a magnet for the neighborhood, drawing customers not only from other parts of the city to the Castro but, thanks to national media publicity, he made the neighborhood not only a gay tourist destination but also a sort of foodie tourist destination. Ike’s personality was also a great fit, reflecting the easy going and friendly nature of the community. As popular as his business got, I often saw him still working the line himself, always smiling and concerned about the customer experience and quality of the food.
All the more sad that he’s going to have to close his doors by August 26th. MUS•e•YUM only hopes Ike’s will find another location in the city and in the Castro, especially. We need our Ike’s!