I'm not sure how I missed it, but Ike's Place has been back on 16th Street since April 11th. I noticed the storefront for the famous and controversial sandwich shop the other day while driving down 16th and was so excited I decided to stop and try a gluten free sandwich to see if it lived up to the Ike's of my memory.
For those of you who have been living in a bubble for the last year and don't know about the rise and fall and rise again of Ike's Place, allow me to fill you in.
Ike's is famous for their huge, hearty, meaty (and vegan-friendly) sandwiches packed with an array of deliciousness, including what Ike calls, "Dirty Sauce." The shop first opened in 2007 and became so popular that lines began to form down the block. Hungry sandwich connoisseurs would wait hours for a sandwiches with funny names such as Fat Bastard, We're JUST Friends, and Sometimes I'm a Vegetarian. The crowds on the sidewalk quickly became an issue for tenants of the building upstairs from Ike's and neighbors in the area.
After months of fighting and attempts to appease the neighbors by closing early and controlling the crowds, Ike was slapped with an eviction notice and finally closed their doors in September 2010.
Almost a year later, Ike's Place is back at 3489 16th Street in a new space just down the road from the old shop.
There's even word of an Ike's Place reality show, which has already filmed a pilot starring The Bold Italic's favorite Third Eye Blind front man, Stephan Jenkins (whose favorite Ike's sandwich is probably the Pastrami-Charmed Life). It seems that Mr. Jenkins and I share a the love of a great sandwich, as do many other San Franciscans, and now that Ike's is back, expect to see lines of people craving tasty sandwiches, and possibly future Stephan Jenkins sightings!
The new space is much larger then the old location, which has helped ease wait times and made the lines shorter. Complaints from neighbors? Ike's told me that there were a few in the beginning, but they are doing everything they can to work with neighbors and make everyone happy. They suggest eating your sandwich in Dolores Park (where I ate mine) and ask that people do not eat on neighbors' stoops or on the sidewalk.
Ike's Place is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call ahead to speed up your wait and check out Ike's interactive website that helps you navigate the multitude of options available.