Nearly three years have passed since Ike’s began filling the stomachs of hungry Isla Vistans. The shop, nestled between Caje and Spudnuts on Embarcadero del Norte, opened its doors for the last time on April 13, bringing the local sandwich spree to an end.
The company’s founder Ike Shehadeh — colloquially called the “Ike of Ike’s” — said in an interview with the Nexus that the Isla Vista location was initially launched as an experiment, implying that the location was destined to be only temporary.
With the exception of a few spare signs, there isn’t much left to the now-defunct I.V. location – other than an eviction notice.
On the Tuesday following the store’s departure, an eviction notice on the window demanded that Shehadeh vacate the Icon-owned property by the day it was posted, April 16.
The eviction notice stems from a case that was originally filed by Icon Property as an unlawful detainer last December, according to public records from Santa Barbara Superior Court. The case alleges that Shehadeh owes Icon more than $42,000 in overdue rent, according to public records.
The Nexus reached out to both Icon’s leasing office and its legal team several times, but did not receive any comment.
In a separate interview with the Nexus, Shehadeh said he recently filed a countersuit against Icon, alleging that “[Icon] did some things that we didn’t appreciate.”
Shehadeh’s countersuit alleges that Icon breached his lease agreement and committed fraud in the form of concealment.
According to a court document sent to the Nexus by Shehadeh’s attorney, the countersuit alleges that Icon hid important information following a situation involving mold on the premises, resulting in the eventual litigation currently taking place.
After informing Icon in January of 2018 that he would no longer be leasing the store, “Icon negotiated with Ike’s Place to amend the lease” and remain in I.V., according to the court document.
The court document alleges that following the repair of a faulty hose in the soda dispenser at the I.V. location, Icon, “unbeknownst to Ike’s Place… hired ATC Group Services LLC to perform a mold inspection in the neighboring property…” that same day.
Within that same week, ATC Group Services allegedly reported that the mold found on the premises was coming from Shehadeh’s store.
The report claimed that the faulty hose was to blame for the mold but, allegedly, nobody from ATC Group Services contacted the store to inform Shehadeh there was a presence of mold on the premises.
Furthermore, the court document alleges that Icon had knowledge of mold on the premises prior to the faulty hose in the I.V. location’s soda dispenser.
However, the soda dispensary machine at the I.V. location had allegedly been inspected just “weeks prior” and the health inspector “did not find any issues with that machine,” according to the court document.
When Shehadeh entered negotiations between Jan. 19 of 2018 and Jul. 4 of 2018 to extend his lease with Icon, the leasing agency allegedly “did not disclose this mold report to Ike’s Place,” according to the court document: “had Ike’s Place known that Icon intended to blame mold damages in the Premises upon Ike’s place, then Ike’s Place would have been able to obtain contemporaneous evidence that it was not responsible for said damages.”
Shehadeh eventually decided to terminate his lease with Icon during the negotiation period but received an email in which Icon offered to “modify the amendment for the reduced gross rent,” according to the document.
Within weeks, Shehadeh agreed to extend the lease, ending negotiations with Icon.
Allegedly, “almost immediately” after Shehadeh signed the extended lease, Icon began inspections to “establish the presence of mold that it was already aware existed but had not disclosed to Ike’s Place,” according to the document.
The court document alleges that “Intrusive remedial work” was performed on the I.V. store following the inspection, ceasing store operations.
During this time, biohazard signs were scattered throughout the store, bathrooms were closed, the kitchen was sealed off and the I.V. location was unable to make and serve sandwiches, according to the court document.
“Ike’s place was unable to continue to do business at the level it previously did and was accordingly unable to pay rent,” the court document states.
By leaving the I.V. store uninformed about the mold, the court document alleges, Icon breached “the covenant of good faith and fair dealing when it concealed material facts from Ike’s place.”
The I.V. store claims, in the court document, that it was “harmed” by Icon due to its reliance on false information the leasing agency provided.
“Icon’s suppression of material facts was malicious and egregious such that Icon should be liable for punitive damages,” according to the document.
The court document adds that the I.V. location is seeking compensation for “punitive damages,” the cost of the suit, attorney’s fees and “general, special, compensatory, incidental, consequential and/or economic damages…”
New State Street Store:
With the new shop slated to open next week, Shehadeh circumvented the short hiring window by offering all current employees at the I.V location a chance to work at the new store. Furthermore, the store will be managed by one of Ike’s first-ever managers, who will bring roughly 10 years of experience to the new sandwich parlor.
The State Street location is equipped with a parking lot, which allows for a full-size catering menu, decreased wait times for delivery and parking for both employees and customers, according to Shehadeh.
Furthermore, Shehadeh also plans to keep the lights on late into the night, flirting with new store hours such as “10 to 10” on weekdays and “10 to midnight” on weekends. However, the hours will be adjusted according to demand, as Shehadeh finds that there’s no use in staying open if nobody wants to purchase food.
To further compensate for the move, Shehadeh is excited to offer a “super student discount,” where both Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara students can tack on chips and a drink to their meal for “a buck fifty.”
The court filings in full can be viewed below:
Max Abrams serves as an assistant news editor. He is from Buffalo. That’s all you need to know.