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.