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Ike's Lair and 'Steve Jobs' Sandwich Make Their Debut Wednesday

The new location of the sandwich chain opens at 11 a.m. Feb. 29 across the street from De Anza College.

The “Steve Jobs” is one of the sandwiches that will give the new location of Ike’s Lair a local twist when it opens at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Cupertino.

The latest location of the Bay Area sandwich chain sits at 21000 Steven’s Creek Boulevard, just across the street from De Anza College and about a ten minute walk from the main Apple campus. Its menu boasts over 200 sandwich combinations, including several vegetarian choices like the Steve Jobs (breaded eggplant, green pesto, ranch and provolone). The late Apple CEO was known for being a vegetarian himself.

“It’s a wonderful spot, close to De Anza, close to a major thoroughfare, and with enough parking,” said owner and Ike’s Lair founder Ike Shehadeh over the phone Monday.

The eatery has been training its 30 new employees for the past couple days for the opening, said Shehadeh. For now, they are no longer hiring.

“[The new location] is a way for me to go further south,” said Shehadeh, who opened his original store (Ike's Place) in 2007 in San Francisco’s Mission District with 25 breaded creations. “I wanted to spread further south without spreading too far.”

On Tuesday afternoon, staff practiced making sandwiches, handing them out to curious onlookers who stopped by. They included traditional favorites like “We’re Just Friends” (Halal chicken, honey mustard, avocado, and pepper jack), and specials to the South Bay like like “Go Sharks” (vegan turkey, buffalo wing sauce, honey mustard and cheddar).

Positive reviews rolled in on Yelp from some of the people who dropped by. “The employees were talkative, friendly and they sure can make a sandwich!” wrote one San Jose resident. “Can't wait to come back to try the rest of their menu when they finally open!”

There will be a special “social media-driven promotion” at the grand opening Wednesday, said Shehadeh, who did not want to reveal what it is yet.

Ike’s is continuing the trend of opening close to schools, said Shehadeh, with a location opening close to Santa Clara University in April. Locations will also be sprouting up at the San Francisco State University campus and near Santa Rosa Junior College in March.

Crystal Tai February 29, 2012 at 07:20 PM
The Steve Jobs sandwich sounds delicious!
Rachel Stern February 29, 2012 at 08:16 PM
It does! I was happy to see all the choices for veggies -- it's nice not be limited to the typical lettuce, tomato and slice of cheese.
Pam Marino February 29, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I was passing by Ike's and decided it give it a try. Everything is 50% off today. Very tasty. I almost tried the Steve Jobs, but opted for the Sometimes I'm a Vegetarian. Gotta say it is pricey, and no free cups of water. I'll probably return, however.
Anne Ernst (Editor) February 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM
C'mon, someone try the Steve Jobs! I'm so curious to get some feedback.
Luke Stangel March 01, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Funny: My wife and I met at the Starbucks that used to be there. I'll have to check out Ike's, for the sandwich and a side of nostalgia.
Rachel Stern March 01, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Great anecdote, Luke! We're curious to hear how you like the sandwiches there. Pam, that's good to know. They seem to give pretty large portions, but I can see it being pricey for student fare.
ElaineY March 02, 2012 at 03:48 AM
I LOVED the Steve Jobs!! On Dutch Crunch with onions and pickles... the eggplant is so tasty. Wish my sandwich was a bit more toasted but other than that the flavors was delicious. I was to "share" with my husband but I admit - I ended up with practically the whole thing with giving him only a few bites. Am definitely going back for the Steve Jobs sandwich but it definitely needs the onions and pickles too!

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