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Washington State's First Steak 'n Shake is Coming Downtown

It's aiming for a December opening, and there will be booze.

Steak 'n Shake
Steak 'n Shake
Steak 'n Shake [Facebook]

Ohhhhhh yes, burger fans. Burgers and booze are already in the air with the U District soon to be home to the country's first CaliBurger, and now comes word that the adored Midwest-based Steak 'n Shake chain is also headed our way—and it's bringing alcohol.

The new Steak 'n Shake, our state's first, will set up in the 2,800-square-foot former Bruno's space at 1417 3rd Avenue downtown. If you know the fast casual burger chain, you'll note some differences from the usual, says one of the franchise owners, former marketer Joe Fernandez. While most Steak 'n Shakes have traditionally lived in free-standing buildings, Seattle's will be a new version of the restaurant rolling out across the country in strip malls and other connected buildings.

"It's [the new version is] to allow Steak 'n Shake into more challenging locations," Fernandez says. With the leaner space comes a shorter menu (no five-way chili), but fear not: Steak 'n Shake's signature burgers, Frisco melt, fries, and shakes are still well represented, and this new style also pours beer and wine. Santa Monica, San Antonio, and other cities have already started restaurants of this model; check out Santa Monica's menu to get the idea.

Decor-wise, expect the same red, black, and white retro-modern aesthetic that defines the chain: "Kind of what people in the '50s or '60s thought the future would look like," Fernandez says.

He says we can expect hours to be around 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for the 86-seat Steak 'n Shake, and the team will consider staying open later on weekends if there's demand. He's shooting for a December opening date. Come on, Christmas.