Fast Food

Shake Shack and In-N-Out: More Out-of-Town Burgers!?

In-N-Out Burger will join Shake Shack as recent arrivals in the Denver burger battle.
In-N-Out Burger will join Shake Shack as recent arrivals in the Denver burger battle. Lindsey Bartlett
Curious burger lovers swarmed New York City fast-food phenomenon Shake Shack when the company opened its first Denver outpost in March 2018. The modern new building at 2995 Larimer Street saw long lines during its first week in business before the hubbub died down, and then the south suburbs got their own dose of Shake Shack with a second location at 1509 Park Central Drive in Highlands Ranch.

Two outposts at first seemed to appease the taste for novelty, but it turns out Shake Shack wasn't content to stop there. The company has been growing rapidly and is poised to become nearly as ubiquitous as Chipotle. When the first Denver shop opened a year and a half ago, there were just over 160 outposts worldwide, but that number has already grown to nearly 250. The company took fourteen years to reach Colorado, but we'll soon have five Shake Shacks; new burger joints are already in the works at 1680 29th Street in Boulder and at Denver International Airport, and another will open at 260 Josephine Street in Cherry Creek North, according to BusinessDen.

click to enlarge Shake Shack is growing from two to five metro Denver locations. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Shake Shack is growing from two to five metro Denver locations.
Danielle Lirette
Meanwhile, the West Coast is also encroaching. In 2017, In-N-Out Burger, a favorite of Southern California natives, announced it would begin building a regional In-N-Out headquarters in Colorado Springs, to be followed by a number of the company's burger restaurants. The first of those in metro Denver could open by the end of 2020 at 9171 Westview Road in Lone Tree. So the race is on to see whether you'll be queuing up for hours in Lone Tree to order your "Animal Style" burger, or whether you'll have to make the drive to Colorado Springs to quell your craving.

Other out-of-state interlopers to crash the Denver burger bash in recent years include Culver's from Wisconsin, Hopdoddy from Austin and Bad Daddy's from North Carolina. Meanwhile, homesick Texans are still clamoring for their Whataburger.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation