Seattle’s ‘Sandwich Nazi’ clips his barbs, makes his final lunch

Dec 22, 2017, 9:23 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2017, 10:45 am

Bakeman’s, the downtown Seattle sandwich shop known for fast, cheap lunches served with a slice of irritation, closed its doors for good Friday after 47 years and thousands of sandwiches served. Owner Jason Wang, 66, said the popular cash-only lunch spot wasn’t a victim of changing times or downtown development. Simply, he said, he was ready to retire after decades of pointedly making people order lunch in under 10 seconds.

“I am retiring,” he said while ringing up a turkey on wheat wrapped in wax paper.  “It’s time.”

Customer John Austen, 63, said he’s sorry to see it go. A patron for 40 years,  he said simple, unpretentious, cheap places don’t much exist anymore in a town flush with tech money. Bakeman’s, with it’s binary white-or-wheat bread options and meatloaf and turkey sandwiches is a reminder of Seattle before artisan-everything.

“They do something simple but they do it well,” he said. “I’ll miss it.”

But while all of the dozens of tributes to Bakeman’s talk about its speed and price, most mention Wang himself and his endless supply of barbed comments for customers who don’t get their order right and right now.

From the Seattle PI in 2008:

Clipped in his speech, brief to the point of brusque and prickly as three-day stubble, Jason Wang wants your lunch order now and your personal story later. Or maybe not at all.“Did you hear me? Didyouhearme?” he strafes a stammering customer at Bakeman’s Restaurant. “Am I speaking Chinese? Do you want anything else? Doyouwantanythingelse?

Without waiting for a reply, he begins to ring up the turkey breast-on-white (a “white-on-white” in Bakemanian) and locks on the next customer.

When he asks that customer what else she wants and she — the nerve! –begins to name the sandwich Wang can very plainly see in her hand, he cuts her off. “I know. IknowIknow. Listen to me. Listentome.”

Read more about Bakeman’s here and here and here.


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Seattle’s ‘Sandwich Nazi’ clips his barbs, makes his final lunch