Bethany Clough

Fresno waited a long time for this sandwich chain to come to town. It’s open now

Ike's

The first of two Ike’s Love and Sandwiches shops in Fresno is open.

Highly anticipated by Fresnans, the San Francisco-based sandwich shop has opened its first location at the Palmdon shopping center, next door to Starbucks at the southeast corner of Palm and Herndon avenues.

Another is in the works at Campus Pointe and is scheduled to open on or around March 11.

One of three new chain restaurants coming to Fresno, many Fresnans are familiar with Ike’s because they’ve been to the company’s other locations in California.

Ike Shehadeh is the founder, and his image is also the logo - the dude with the shaved head and the little soul patch on his chin.

He tries to create flavor combinations in sandwiches you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere, he told The Bee last summer.

“We’re like the Ben & Jerry’s of sandwiches, the Apple of sandwiches,” he said. “I want to do things you wouldn’t do at home.”

That means, for example, you’ll find a ménage à trois sandwich with three sauces (honey, honey mustard and barbecue), chicken and three cheeses.

The menu has extensive vegetarian and vegan options, along with gluten-free bread, but also plenty of meaty sandwiches.

Each sandwich has “Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce,” which is baked into the bread.

The menu also has some Fresno-themed sandwiches, like the LoFresno Neal (named after football player Lorenzo Neal and made with steak, honey and pepper jack cheese) and the Roadrunner (vegan fried chicken and tangy spicy barbecue).

The restaurant also has a kids menu (with both chicken strips and vegan “chick’n” nuggets) and includes lollipops in the bags of sandwiches.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.

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