Emeryville Ike’s Sandwiches preparing for Grand Opening

Published On February 24, 2016 | By Rob Arias | In the Neighborhood, Restaurants

Alright E’villains, we can all exhale. As previously reported what seemed like years ago, the Emeryville Ike’s Sandwiches will finally be opening on the corner retail unit of the Parc on Powell Development on Hollis & Powell. The Grand Opening is expected to occur Monday February 29th but they intend to soft-open for a few shifts prior to test their kitchen processes and get employees up to speed.

“Emeryville is a good fit for us” noted founder Ike Shehadeh through a phone interview who personally chose the location after being contacted by the landlord and being offered incentives. “Everywhere we’ve opened in the East Bay has shown us a lot of love and we feel there’s room for more.” Ike opened his first location in San Francisco back in 2007 and has expanded his brand as far as Washington D.C. in less than a decade.

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Sandwiches like the Emeryville exclusive “Crazy Stupid Love” shown above are served on their famous Dutch Crunch with Ike’s secret dirty sauce and trademark caramel apple pops.

Ike’s are notorious for localizing their menu and providing unique options. The Emeryville menu includes two exclusives including the “Toy Story 4” (Veggie Bacon, Sweet Ranch & Jack) and the “Crazy Stupid Love” (Chicken Fried Steak, Ike’s Sweet Ranch, Swiss). No word on an “E’ville Eye” Sandwich ;). They also offer in the neighborhood of 500 “off the menu” options creating a near infinite amount of customization opportunities.

The leasing company for Parc on Powell has made a commitment to bringing in unique, locally serving retail. These efforts have been hampered by a City Government with a reputation of not supporting small business and created an unpredictable business climate. Ike’s thankfully signed their lease prior to Council’s announcement of their intent to implement their highest-in-the-nation minimum wage increase. Ike’s is considered a retail anchor and one that is a draw for other neighborhood businesses. So far this has not materialized for the Parc on Powell development besides the signing of Bay Bridge Optometry. The remaining lots remain empty and at least three pending deals have reportedly collapsed since the MWO’s adoption.

If there’s any small business that can absorb the current challenging business climate in our city, it’s Ike’s. Ike’s will reportedly keep prices consistent with other East Bay locations, but will implement an optional surcharge on every transaction to offset Emeryville’s added labor cost.

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Another deterrent that some E’ville Eye commenters have noted is the lack of parking in the area. Something Ike’s is working on with property management who are expected to provide a handful of spots in their lot to the general public. When/If the retail fills out, there could be as many as forty spots available.

Ike’s is expanding rapidly and is also opening a Berkeley location and second Oakland location in Rockridge. Ike’s is also testing out other food concepts including Ike Burger (opening in Chico) and even Pizza (testing in Arizona). The Emeryville Ike’s will be the fifteenth location in the bay with more on the way. “I’m really grateful to the East Bay for all the support they’ve given us over the last four years” added Ike.

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Hours:

10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily


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About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

24 Responses to Emeryville Ike’s Sandwiches preparing for Grand Opening

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope he can survive Emeryville.

  2. Joyce Jacobson says:

    Appealing sandwich shop, but how to get there? Awful location – can’t bus, can’t walk, from where I live, and no apparent parking. Hope the nearby homes and businesses can support it.

    • Dan says:

      Can’t bus? The Emery-go-round stops a block away, and San Pablo Ave buses are just a short walk. But really, this is a locally serving business, so expect most people to arrive by foot or bike from the (many) nearby homes and businesses.

    • Rob says:

      Joyce, it is interesting that there’s not a direct Emery Go-Round route from Marina/Watergate to “East” Emeryville. The Powell Street bridge is notoriously unfriendly for bikes and seniors. This is something that should be addressed. I did see a sign for some public parking across the street closer to The Broken Rack.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree: the location is odd mainly because it seems there is no place for someone to park/stop and eat there, even though it is serviced by two major roads. I drive by it all the time now, and I wonder if I am ever actually going to eat there, though I work down Hollis where walking doesn’t make sense, it would be too much a round trip in time to walk for a simple business lunch. They are missing out on a lot of us because of that main point. If they have parking nearby, they need to put that up in signage.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is Ike’s still categorized as a small business? They have about 15 locations, it looks to me like they’re quickly moving toward becoming a major big-business franchise.

    They’ll attract the working lunch crowd and those people are on foot. It’ll be interesting to see how far local workers are willing to walk to pick up their lunch (also depends on the length of a lunch hour). Once the Stanford Medical building opens up in 2017, they’ll have a huge lunch crowd.

    I personally would mostly tend to stop there to pick up a sandwich on the way from somewhere to somewhere else; so I’d need a quick place to park and the parking will affect my decision to go there. I won’t be willing to face a major parking challenge just to pick up a sandwich.

    I’m also curious whether their presence will affect Subway on 65th St. Time will tell.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I believe under Emeryville’s MWO, Ike’s will be violating the MWO if they enact the policy in their sign.

    The 30 cents would be considered a Service Charge since a customer would reasonably believe it’s going to those providing the service. The sign that says it’s intended for the employees doesn’t help Ike’s case. It doesn’t help either that it’s optional. It looks exactly like a service charge or suggested tip which can’t be used to offset wages.

    The language in the MWO is what helped run Commonwealth out of business. You can’t just replace tips with an equivalent service charge and use the service charge to pay wages (even though that’s what makes the most sense). The law requires service charges be given to employees on top of their already high wages. So you have to convince customers to stop tipping AND to pay your higher than expected prices instead. It’s the only available option.

    The Emeryville MWO leaves a lot of room for interpretation (convenient for labor lawyers looking to sue employers), but Ike’s legal crew should probably take a closer look, Given the business unfriendly tone of the current city council and the rash of union reps who’ve got their sites locked on Emeryville, It would a lot less risky to just jack up prices and accept the loss in sales. The national PR hit of being attacked by the unions as a “wage thief” isn’t worth it.

    As the commenters above said, Ike’s has chosen a very challenging location…Emeryville.

    Hopefully they have a short lease.

    • Reggie says:

      Pay people a decent wage and price your service(S)/goods to cover. If 30 cents/order is all it takes to make the finances work, simply raise the price of all sandwiches 30 cents – it should work even better. I doubt anyone would worry about 30 cents. Hell, folks buy $40 pizzas down the street at RCP instead of Dominos…. why is this any different.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Things have gotten way out of hand in Emeryville.

    We are seeing the perfect convergence of guilty aging hippies with entitled young millennials manipulated at the hands of corrupt unions fighting for survival.

    Rationality is out the window. “$25 minimum wages for everyone so everyone can be middle class without having to learn a single skill.” Sure.

    No one ever socks it to the poor like well-meaning progressives.

    Good luck Ike’s.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rob thinks he is entitled to free food from this establishment for writing this article. Scum bag Rob.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t listen to em Rob. You deserve more than free sandwiches for all that you do for Eville!

      When are you going to run for City Council?

      • Rob says:

        Hey Thank You. I used to be sensitive to the trolling but now I’m resolved that it comes with the territory of being a muckraker. City Council is not a place for someone that likes to speak their mind.

        “To Avoid Criticism, Say Nothing, Do Nothing, Be Nothing”
        – Aristotle

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe Aristotle is telling you to run for City Council. Mayor Arias has a nice ring to it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Getting back to the subject of Ike’s… whoa. That huge comic-strip style sign screams suburban mall chain store and looks so weird at the bottom of a residential building. There’s no sense of aesthetic or consideration for the fact that they’re located at the base of a residential building. Instead, the sign seems to be as huge and in-your-face as possible; possibly in order to not lose any eyeballs of motorists driving by. What will work to make people stop in and buy sandwiches, is 1. simply providing good sandwiches and 2. having parking on site so people can park quickly and conveniently, and run in to pick up their order. I’m disappointed that they’ve made themselves such a commercial look, just like Bay Street. Maybe that’s all that Emeryville can end up with; satellites of national chain stores/businesses. I also don’t understand why they chose that location and not Public Market where people can park easily to run in and grab a sandwich.

    • Anonymous says:

      All of their locations look like this. It’s got way more style than, say, a Subway’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s kind of funny that everyone keeps asking for integrated retail (ya know, all those vacant stores you see at the bottom of residential buildings in Emeryville) and then the moment we have it, we’re annoyed with the lack of parking.

      The problem is that what we want “for real” and what we want in our idealized view of ourselves are completely different. We want to want walkable cities with unique local businesses, but what we work toward is an economy built on big national chains that can afford to take care of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s no reason you can’t have both integrated retail AND parking. The city and builders have to plan for the parking and create planned space for parking spaces. There’s no reason you can’t have both.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This property does have parking…enter the garage off of Powell Street, adjacent to the leasing office. 40 or so covered spaces are available to the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      I tried that and the garage was closed with a big metal gate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just pull up REALLY close to the gate and it’ll open. The retail parking spaces are clearly marked. Not ideal, but it’s free and convenient.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I live in the building. I am surprised to hear that the landlord approached them and even gave them an incentive. The tacky signage is really doing the building no favors. Then again, the neon signage (oh sorry, I mean “ART”) on the building front is pretty hideous too. The sandwiches are no where near artisanal. More like greasy slobs of oily meat bombs. Total head scratch.

    Oh and if you are thinking of living here, here are some local intel. We just got a shocking 10% rent increase for a let’s just say… a very basic place that’s already 5% over market price. This brings our rent to over 4k. I imagine this is happening to most of the residents here. I see moving trucks here daily moving people out. There are plenty of units on craigslist for rent. Most of their commercial spaces are still empty. If we weren’t out of staters, we would have never signed the lease here.

    Lesson learned.

    • Rob says:

      Hello Anonymous, I’m a personal fan of their sandwiches … but I’m NOT a fan of rent hikes. I can’t believe they are doing this to you so soon.

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