It’s finally over. Ike’s Place on 16th Street will serve its dirty sauce today for the last time.
The sandwich shop, which has faced complaints from neighbors about noise, trash and large crowds, won’t leave quietly.
“We’ll be open until midnight. We’ll throw a big party,” employee Chase Ottney said on Sunday, adding that they hope to sell 5,000 sandwiches in their last days.
Employees plan to clean up on Tuesday and be officially moved out by Wednesday morning.
Most of Ike’s 47 employees got word on Saturday that the shop had lost the battle that began last spring when neighbors started filing complaints. The sandwich shop’s landlord began eviction proceedings in August, but a technicality involving improperly filed paperwork bought Ike’s extra time.
“We kind of knew it was coming,” Ottney said. “We just want to have fun the last couple of days.”
The bitter divide between Ike’s and the neighbors received much media attention in the last few months, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Ike’s sells t-shirts that say, “I’ll live above Ike’s Place” but others in the neighborhood wear shirts saying “I hate Ike’s Place.”
Most of the 80 people in line Sunday were unaware that it was one of the last days for the sandwich shop, while others came out to have one last taste.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Krista Farley a regular from the Sunset. “These people live in the city. I understand it’s their home, but Market Street is right there. There’s going to be noise.”
Farley and her friend Christie Nichols called Ike’s Place a landmark; a spot where tourists come to have their pictures taken.
“The workers have been really respectful. They try to meet them halfway,” Nichols said, adding they keep people lined up and against the wall.
Such gestures to appease the neighbors have recently been shelved, Ottney said.
“We brought back music. We’re not controlling people eating on the sidewalks, we’re just cleaning up the trash.” Ottney said. “We’ve slowed down our neighborhood consciousness after the sheriff brought the papers.”
Some in line were sad to see the shop go, but sympathized with the neighbors.
Ike’s Place, which now has locations in Palo Alto and Redwood Shores and plans for opening in Burlingame and Santa Rosa, is looking to open a new shop somewhere in San Francisco, according to Ottney. He said the owner, Ike Shehadeh, was hoping to have a new place open before the shop at 16th and Sanchez shut down.
For now, Ottney said, some employees are already looking for new jobs, but he’s hoping for the sake of his commute, that Ike’s will find a new home in the city.
“We want to stay in the neighborhood,” he said. “We should come back in full force.”