K Sandwiches: Rising From the Ashes

The once-beloved, burnt-down sandwich place off-campus is, believe it or not, on it’s way back.


Ian Caffarel

K Sandwiches wreckage, September 2016.

Ian Caffarel, Staff Writer

It’s been just over a year since a fire destroyed K Sandwiches, a popular off-campus sandwich shop, owned by the Tran family.
$1.5 million dollars in damages were caused, and the place was declared a total loss. Although the owner had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, there were no serious injuries.
The resulting clean-up effort tore down the remains of the building.
According to NBC7 News, in November 2015, “On Thanksgiving Day, the Tran family, who owned the eatery, walked through the ruins and looked back on Aug. 4.”
“It’s sad. We put so much hard work,” said Jennifer Tran. “We work every day, sometimes for 10 hours.”
That night, a fire started in the back corner of the shop when an oven malfunctioned. Everyone was able to get out, but the building was a complete loss. The Trans were forced to shut it down.
Just recently, the Tran family received the proper permits to begin cleanup. They plan to rebuild and be open for business sometime next summer or fall.”
Chris Cantore, of DiscoverSD, said, “In the meantime, I’m thinking of starting a GoFundMe.”
Sure enough, after the fire, a GoFundMe page was set up for the Tran family. So far, over the last 14 months, they have raised $280, with an overall goal of $5,000.
The place was loved by all in the community. It was known for it’s banh mi, sandwiches, and desserts. According to the Union-Tribune, “It’s a great restaurant,” said Chris Morris, a nearby resident who said he eats at K Sandwiches five or six times a week. “I love their desserts, their friendliness, and it’s one of the best values for the community. Lots of young kids work there – they’re all out of work, now.”
The Tran family, who owns the shop, says they will be back.
“It’s going to be bigger, it will be better,” said Nick Tran.

Sharon Chen, from Fox 5, via Twitter: “San Diegans will miss these sandwiches, but the Tran family says #KSandwiches will be back!”
Today, little remains of the once-vibrant restaurant, most visibly the smoked outer walls, propped up by wooden supports.
Now, despite it’s appearance, the once-beloved restaurant is en route to a comeback.
The plan was to have the eatery back by summer or fall 2016. However, there are no signs of rebuilding. A Google Maps Street View image from May still shows wreckage, with hardly any signs of activity. Cars and buses, carrying people going about their business, pass it day in and day out, every single day; passing a few walls surrounded by a temporary fence.
Now, despite it’s appearance, the once-beloved restaurant will rise from the ashes. According to a Facebook post from the restaurant’s Facebook page:
“Hi Everyone! Sorry to keep you all waiting. It has been an extremely enduring process but we are happy to let you all know that our plans for rebuilding are currently pending approval. As soon as we receive approval, we will begin construction immediately. We hope to have an update for you again shortly!”

From here, the Tran family will continue working on the hopeful return of the restaurant, and make good on their promise of returning. And maybe, just maybe, one day, their fans, including many a hungry Mesa student, can have amazing sandwiches and French bread again.