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Ike’s Place: Monday is Last Day in SF

Ike's customers line up one last time on Monday
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Ike's customers line up one last time on Monday

Update at 2:15 p.m

It appears that popular sandwich shop Ike’s Place has run out of legal maneuvers – the on-again, off-again eviction from San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood is back on. Owner Ike Shehadeh said Monday will be the last chance to get a bite at the 16th Street location.

“This Monday will be the last day at midnight,” Shehadeh said. “The sheriff is planning to shut the shop down on Wednesday the 15th at 6:00 a.m. We’ll be closed Tuesday so we can move everything and clean.”

Fans were lining up for the final time. About 70 were waiting at 1:30 p.m., with owner Ike Shehadeh personally serving customers. The shop will be open until midnight tonight.

Ike's customers line up one last time on Monday
Scott James
Ike's customers line up one last time on Monday
Scott James

Ike’s Place has been the target of complaints ever since it became popular and attracted large crowds – four upstairs neighbors said their lives had been disrupted. The building’s landlord then started eviction proceedings against the eatery.

But in the end, the court case against Ike’s was never heard on its merits – did the restaurant really do anything wrong? Instead, the case became a battle of legal technicalities.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Peter J. Busch ruled against the company that owns the eatery – Forever Shehadeh, Inc. – deciding that it does not have standing in the case. The lawyer representing the restaurant had been able to get an eviction ruling canceled last month based on the premise that the wrong name was on the paperwork (owner Shehadeh and his mother Huda Shehadeh’s names, rather than the company’s).

But Judge Busch did not buy that explanation. The decision posted on the court’s website Friday afternoon said, “Order denying claim of right to possession of Forever Shehadeh, Inc.”

With those 11 words, 47 jobs will be lost, and the thousands of foodie fans that have lined up for sandwiches will need to eat elsewhere. In an interview with The Bay Citizen published on Friday, Shehadeh said it was unlikely he would open a shop in the Lower Haight, despite a campaign on Facebook to get him to do so, because he feared the same backlash from residents there.

So in the city where the sandwich craze began, there apparently will be no more Ike’s. Meanwhile, other Bay Area communities have welcomed Ike’s to open shops, attracting large crowds. Branches have opened in Redwood Shores and on the Stanford University campus, and two more are planned for Burlingame and Santa Rosa.

When asked late Saturday night how he was feeling about being pushed out of San Francisco, Shehadeh said, “Ike’s Place and I will be alright.”

Then, referring to his employees, he said. “I’m just worried about the kids.”

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