A burger-shaped bombshell just landed: Shake Shack, the East Coast’s cult chain, will finally open its first Washington outpost at 2115 Westlake Ave. in Denny Triangle next year. Yes, that means Shackburgers, chicken sandwiches, concretes, milkshakes (actor Jude Law’s favorite in New York), and maybe even hot chicken and chicken tenders could crash the Amazonia party by mid-2018 — and the location, which currently houses Wheelhouse Coffee, will have a large outdoor area for the insanity to spill outside.
Evidently, Seattle’s been on the company’s expansion wishlist for a long time: CEO Randy Garutti is tight with the Canlis family, having befriended Mark Canlis at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Seattle Met reports. Garutti even became general manager of the Canlis family’s Seattle’s famous fine-dining restaurant before moving back east to join the team of Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer.
We're stoked to set up Shack in Seattle! The South Lake Union Shack is comin' in 2018. pic.twitter.com/BAiySoIcdy— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) August 9, 2017
As such, there’s a good chance a Seattle-specific local menu item will be a Canlis partnership — when Shake Shack opened its 100th store in Boston last year, for example, it unveiled the Coppa Burger, a collaboration with Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro, Little Donkey) featuring provolone cheese, griddled mortadella, cherry peppers, caramelized onions, mayo, and shredded lettuce on an Angus beef patty. Shops in Austin, Houston, and Dallas collaborate with different local bakeries (Uchi, Fluff Bake Bar, and Emporium Pies respectively) for special concretes, a frozen custard blended with mix-ins like a slice of pie or crushed cookies.
Even if falling stock prices signal an end to the honeymoon period elsewhere for the international chain, the love affair hasn’t yet begun to smolder in Seattle — hello Shackburger, goodbye, Costco clone.
Correction: This post originally suggested the new Shake Shack would land in South Lake Union; technically, it will be in Denny Triangle, although restaurateurs themselves typically lump that region in with South Lake Union, including in this case.