Bethany Clough

Free sandwiches: Ike’s is opening its second Fresno shop this week

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches will hold a grand opening for its second Fresno location Friday, May 17 – and there’s free sandwiches and trivia involved.

The popular San Francisco-based chain had fans in Fresno before it even opened its first location here. The first one opened in February, next door to Starbucks at the southeast corner of Palm and Herndon avenues.

Now the second shop is opening at Campus Pointe, the shopping center next to Fresno State at Shaw and Chestnut avenues. Ike’s took over the former Beach Hut Deli spot.

It’s actually open now, but its grand opening is at 10:30 a.m. Friday. The first 50 customers through the doors will get a free sandwich.

In the few months since the first location opened, Ike’s has gained fans for its sandwiches, which are a little different than you’d find at a typical sandwich shop.

Founder Ike Shehadeh (that’s him in the logo with the soul patch on his chin) told The Fresno Bee he likes to create flavor combinations you don’t find elsewhere.

“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.”

The Fresno menu includes creatively named sandwiches, like the Matt Cain, a reference to the San Francisco Giants pitcher. The sandwich has salami, roast beef, turkey, provolone and “Godfather sauce.”

Each sandwich comes with “Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce,” which is baked into the bread. Ike’s gets good reviews on, with customers specifically mentioning the Dutch crunch bread and the potato chips.

Ike’s also has extensive vegan and vegetarian options, including sandwiches made with vegan meatballs, vegan turkey, vegan chicken and vegetables.

Fresno sandwiches

Each restaurant has a few sandwiches named for something local. At the new location, both are fairly obscure and perfect trivia fodder.

Do you know who Charlotte Kensington is? It was Carol Burnett’s character in “Fresno,” the miniseries that aired in the 1980s. The sandwich named Charlotte Kensington has halal chicken, buffalo French sauce and American cheese.

The second sandwich is called What’s Popping?! According to the internet, the Fresno connection is the dance called popping, a sort of popping/jerking of limbs that got popular in the 1970s. The Electric Boogaloos did it on “Soul Train” in 1979 and according to this story from KQED, brothers Boogaloo Sam and Poppin’ Pete (Sammy and Timothy Solomon) are from Fresno.

The What’s Popping?! sandwich has vegan chicken, buffalo French sauce and provolone cheese.

The restaurant will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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.