A partnership continues between longtime Castro dessert spot Sweet Inspiration (2239 Market Street) and soon-to-be-evicted, uber-popular 16th Street sandwich spot Ike's Place, though in order to avoid the wrath of the Planning Department, which now considers Ike's a chain with its 31 locations (I count 27 currently on the website, but two more are currently planned in SF and likely more elsewhere), Sweet Inspiration is now home to a sandwich spot called... wait for it... Mike's Place. Sweet Inspiration owner Mike Colter tells Hoodline that the team is using Ike's recipes and changing the names of the sandwiches in the hopes of complying with formula retail rules governing the neighborhood.
The Ike's location at 3489 16th Street grew out of its original, closet-sized shop closer to Church Street, and was the OG location that got owner Ike Shehadah enormous attention beginning with the Travel Channel's Man v. Food in 2009 and landing on dozens of local best-of lists in the next several years. Ike's has continued to be popular especially with sandwich-obsessed dudes drawing mid-day lines and plenty of destination eaters, but a lease squabble is forcing the shop out of its Castro location effective August 31.
Colter and Shehadah had hoped that, given Ike's had been in the neighborhood before its rapid expansion, and that it was only moving a block and a half away, that the city wouldn't object.
Now the question becomes whether the city will continue to object now that all they're doing is calling it "Mike's Place" and Sweet Inspiration is still listed as the SF Ike's location on Yelp, and Mike's Place is included on the Ike's Place website as a location.
Colter said the Ike's website would be removing that, but it would seem like the Yelp listing might be a little tougher since that's likely helping to direct fans in search of Ike's on the web.
As Hoodline's tipster quips, "It's almost reminiscent of Coming to America, with the restaurant 'McDougal's' trying to copy McDonald's." [Editor's Note: It was actually McDowell's.]
Colter is hoping they're let off the hook because the business of selling cake and coffee with no liquor license hasn't been so strong and they can really use the daytime foot traffic that Ike's sandwich fans provide. He's owned the dessert shop for six years, but it's been in the Castro for 33.
And now, the Travel Channel segment that started it all, for Ike...