Walnut Creek residents with a penchant for a good sandwich and a vibey atmosphere are waiting for the latest addition to sandwich king Ike Shehadeh’s empire to take its place next to Buckhorn Grill downtown.
But Shehadeh, who put his stamp on the local sandwich scene with his trademark “dirty sauce” and some equally saucy names for his creations, has been at odds with the city over permitting issues despite the newfound success of his latest “Ike’s Lair” bunker in the Trader Joe’s center down in Danville.
Fans will know that the Sammich-preneur got his start in San Francisco, building a sizable following in the city’s Castro with some creative kitchen work and some equally creative branding, offering up local favorites like the Ménage à trois, the Matt Cain, and his bunker-busting trademark “Kryptonite” – featured on the gastronomic marathon show “Man Versus Food.”
“Ike” has several locations in the Bay Area, his latest in Danville, and he was hoping to get Walnut Creek up and running soon. Instead, the technology-happy Shehadeh (line-beating applications allow patrons to call ahead) has been airing his displeasure with the city on his Facebook page, firing broadsides over what he claims is the molasses-like permitting process.
“… the delays in getting that shop open will steer me away from opening anymore stores in Contra Costa county,” Shehadeh Facebooks. “I’ve switched my focus to the South Bay and Southern California. I was going to open up about 3-5 more out that way and they have forced me to change my plans. Worst experience I’ve had opening a shop since I had to relocate the SF Ike’s twice.”
And, no, the clean-shaven Shehadeh was not the model for The Creek’s famed “Fountain Head” on North Main. They just look alike.