The popular sandwich chain Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has made its way to downtown San Luis Obispo.
The sandwich chain has 56 other locations in California, Reno and Phoenix and is originally from the Bay Area. The San Luis Obispo location is the first in the county and is located at 1028 Chorro St. — replacing acai and kombucha shop Bowl’d that closed in 2018.
Ike’s Love and Sandwiches held its official grand opening on March 8, where the first 50 customers each received a free sandwich.
In addition to the more than 500 sandwich combinations, the San Luis Obispo location has two specialty sandwiches — “Bubblegum Alley” with fried chicken, Asian zest sauce and pepper jack, and the vegetarian “Thank You for Not Smoking” with vegan chicken, Asian zest sauce and pepper jack.
Other popular sandwiches include the “Matt Cain” and “Menage a Trois.” Every sandwich also includes the chain’s popular Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce, which is baked into the bread.
Ike’s Love and Sandwiches started in San Francisco in 2007 by Ike Shehadeh and has been featured in the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food” and The New York Times.
Retired San Francisco Giants Pitcher Matt Cain, who has an Ike’s sandwich named after him, also made a video for San Francisco Travel calling a visit to Ike’s “a must-do experience” when in San Francisco.
According to Yelp, there are 15 other sandwich shops in San Luis Obispo alone. Recently, another sandwich chain Which Wich Superior Sandwiches closed its doors after opening in 2015. It was located in the space that is now Wingstop, directly across the street from Ike’s new location.
Experience Industry Management senior Jane Liivoja said she believes Ike’s has an advantage over the competition since a lot of people already know of the chain.
“[Which Wich] never held some sort of like ‘oh my god that was my favorite’ or I couldn’t think of some specialty item with them,” Liivoja said. “With Ike’s you do think of the halal chicken or something like that or the Dutch Crunch Bread.”
Liivoja said she first tried Ike’s while on a road trip to San Francisco. During her first visit to the San Luis Obispo location, she tried the “Menage a Trois” which has halal chicken — which seems to be a favorite among students familiar with Ike’s.
Wine and viticulture seniors Olivia Hall and Rachel Martin both also stood by the halal chicken as their go-to sandwich at Ike’s.
“I like to mix it up, but I always get something with their halal chicken in it,” Hall said. “I think that’s the coolest thing that they have on the menu.”
Martin also said she gets anything with the halal chicken in it when visiting Ike’s.
“It’s not just the normal menu that you’d find at a sandwich deli,” Martin said. “They have some cool variety.”