On February 1, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches will add a new El Segundo location at 460 N. Pacific Coast Highway to their growing list of 70 plus restaurants nationwide.
It’s no wonder that the eatery has developed a cult following since its San Francisco flagship opened in 2007: over 800 sandwiches are on the menu, many of them known to only a select few or revealed via social media. More than 50 of these have been crafted by, then named after, celebrities— including Robin Williams, G-Easy, Halsey, Hunter Pence, Marshawn Lynch and a slew of other sports icons, actors and musicians (apparently, Lizzo has an Ike’s sandwich in the works.)
“I definitely put a love potion in the secret sauce, so that’s why we got popular,” founder Ike Shehadeh told What Now Los Angeles. “For someone who has never eaten there, imagine a place that you could go to where [they] have vegan food, meat food, gluten-free food — no one has to renegotiate where to go, no one has to demean themselves to eat there. You can come in there with your vegan boyfriend or vegetarian wife and all be super happy at the table and no one has to compromise at all. That’s the whole heart of Ike’s is — we want everybody to feel loved, respected and appreciated, and we happen to do that through sandwiches.”
Shehadeh said Ike’s growth isn’t slowing any time soon — “I’m not going to stop until people stop buying them. Whether it’s 1000 or 10,000 or 100,000 stores, when people say ‘we don’t want to eat your sandwiches anymore’ is when we’ll stop opening them.”
He also told What Now Los Angeles that, so long as he keeps dreaming them up, he will keep creating new sandwiches that will be available in each store.
“There are a billion or trillion different constructs that you can make of a sandwich,” said Shehadeh. “If I only had five sandwiches, I would be ripping the world off. I’m going to have a million sandwiches one day — I just haven’t lived long enough yet.”