Downtown Detroit is quickly becoming a hot spot to grab a good burger and gather with friends.
Just last summer, we celebrated the grand opening of Wahlburgers on Monroe Avenue. Thursday afternoon, we welcomed downtown Detroit’s newest burger bar: Shake Shack, a modern day “roadside” burger known for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers, chicken, griddled flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard and crinkle cut fries.
The grand opening kicked off at 11:00 a.m., opening the doors to a sea of hungry Detroiters ready to experience the newest downtown eatery. The first 50 or so guests received Shake Shack swag in the form of sunglasses, wrist sweatbands and a Shake Shack Tee printed and designed by John Varvatos, a local Detroit designer and retailer located on Woodward Avenue.
The restaurant pulled out all the stops for their Detroit location, sporting a Spirit of Detroit mural over the main entrance and an Old English “D” on a concert pillar in the restaurant.
This is the first-ever Michigan location for Shake Shack, who set up shop at the base of the First Nation Building, just outside of Campus Martius Park.
“This is my first time in Detroit,” said an enthusiastic Zach Koff, chief operating officer for Shake Shack. “We knew Shake Shack was going to be part of this renewal of what is happening downtown and now, seeing it in action, looking outside at the people in line, and how people actually want to come back here and spend time in downtown Detroit, it’s awesome.”
The burger chain’s claim to fame, other than their mouthwatering burgers, is the concrete – a high-speed spun custard with mix-ins.
In celebration of their Detroit location, Shake Shack has partnered up with local favorites to make an exclusive concrete: Motor City Mix, made with vanilla custard, peanut butter sauce, Bon Bon Bon (local Detroit sweets shop) dark chocolate with Rocky’s honey roasted peanuts and chocolate toffee.
Sister Pie located in Detroit’s West Village and Zingerman’s brownies and peanuts from Rocky’s Historic Eastern Market also made a sweet Shake Shack dessert debut.
The menu features all the classics, like their famous Shack Burger, a cheeseburger made with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce, the classic Flat-top dog and many more delectable dishes.
The Shack also serves Michigan craft beers, including Cheboygan Brewing’s Blood Orange Honey Wheat, Birmingham’s Griffin Claw Brewing El Rojo Red Ale and Bellaire’s Short’s Brewing Huma Lupa Licious India Pale Ale.
“My favorite menu item is always the Shack Burger,” Koff revealed. “We feature so many great things and have amazing culinary specials all the time, but that’s just the purest form of what we do. It was the one that put us on the map. It’s clearly the one that took the longest to do and it’s really been the racehorse for me.”
Shake Shack strives to be a fun and lively gathering place, centered on community. In celebration of their efforts of community, 5% of sales from the Pie Oh My concrete are donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank, a Detroit non-profit that provides local households in need with access to food.
“I think anytime we come into a brand new city, we’re always looking for the place that feels like its either the existing community gathering place or just what might be the next community gathering place,” explained Koff. “This is going to be the next place where everybody in downtown Detroit will centralize and want to work and play and live. That’s why this particular spot came on the map for us.”
Starting March 1, Shake Shack will offer a Shack App to order food, available on the iPhone app store.
Shake Shack is located at the base of the First National Building, at 660 Woodward Ave. and is open every Monday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.