By now, every burger buff in Denver knows that Shake Shack has claimed its territory in RiNo and will soon be grilling up burgers, frying up fries and shaking up shakes (or concretes, as the frozen-custard concoctions are called). But now an official date has been announced, which means you can get out the tents and camping gear and start forming a line: Shake Shack will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 21, at 2995 Larimer Street.
Along with its distinct lineup of hamburgers, crinkle-cut fries, flat-top griddled hot dogs and other famous fare, the New York-based eatery, founded as little more than a food cart in 2004 by restaurateur Danny Meyer, will have a few Colorado-specific menu items. Looks like Meyer and his team have really done their homework, especially on the dessert end of things: Two of the concretes will be the Pie Oh My, made with vanilla frozen custard and slices of pie from Denver baker Shauna Lott's Long I Pie, and the Glazed Dazed Donut, made with a banana-bread doughnut from Josh Schwab's Glazed & Confuzed. And 5 percent of the sales of Pie Oh My concretes will be donated to Food Bank of the Rockies.
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In a nod to regional ingredients, the Colorado-only Green Chile CheddarShack will come loaded with white cheddar, marinated green chiles and scallions. (The jury's out on those marinated green chiles, which don't sound particularly Mountain West in provenance, but we'll withhold judgment until we actually get a taste.)
The new Shake Shack will have a liquor license, and the company is bringing in its own Shakemeister Ale, brewed by hometown pals at Brooklyn Brewery. But there will also be plenty of Colorado beers — from Ratio Beerworks on the same block of Larimer, Great Divide Brewing Company and Denver Beer Co. just blocks away, and Funkwerks and Odell Brewing in Fort Collins.
Shake Shack has also announced plans to open two more Colorado locations: one in Highlands Ranch, which will open its doors this summer, and a second in the B Concourse of Denver International Airport, planned for 2019. That's just in time to welcome other Colorado burger newcomer In-N-Out Burger to Colorado; the California company is building a distribution center in Colorado Springs with the expectation of opening several regional outposts, including at least one in Denver.
Let the burger battles begin!