Shake Shack arrives in Denver

Chain shakes things up in RiNo neighborhood
Photo: Mailys Steiblen · The Sentry

Shake Shack opened its first location in Denver on March 21. Danny Meyer founded the restaurant in 2004 in New York, and the burger chain has been steadily rising in popularity with 136 locations all around the world. Denverites can now visit their very own location in the RiNo Arts District, on 29th and Larimer, and see what all the hubbub is about.

Since its opening day, Shake Shack has had customers lined up beyond the doors and even onto the sidewalk. Although the line may look like it would be at least an hour-long wait for a juicy Shack Burger, signature milkshake, and crispy crinkle-cut fries, the Shake Shack’s team hustles so customers only have to wait about 10 to 15 minutes.

The entire  exterior of the new building features floor-to-ceiling windows instead of walls. The decor is a mixture of industrial design and 70s-style geometric woodwork, giving it a casual yet slightly upscale vibe that fits perfectly in the up-and-coming RiNo neighborhood. While waiting in line, the menu is posted on the wall so it’s easy for customers to see what they would like before reaching the register.

The menu is filled with the classic American-style options in four categories: burgers, chicken, flat-top dogs, and crinkle cut fries. There are the usual choices, like a Shack Burger, which is a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and cheese ($5.49), but there are also Colorado-specific choices, like the Green Chile CheddarShack that comes with green chilies and scallions ($6.49). There’s even a vegetarian option called a ‘Shroom Burger that is a crisp-fried Portobello mushroom filled with muenster and cheddar cheese and topped with lettuce and tomato ($6.99).

Meyer proudly works hard to source premium ingredients for each menu item. “All of our beef, chicken, and pork are 100 percent natural with no added hormones or antibiotics ever,” Meyer said. “Our Angus beef is delivered fresh, vegetarian fed, and humanely raised.”

Aside from their burgers, what Shake Shack is primarily known for is in the name—shakes. They offer the classic chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla shakes ($6.50-$7.50). To shake things up, they offer specialty flavors that include chocolate chip red velvet, mint cookies and cream, and Apple Pie á la mode.  For something even more special to concentrate on, concrete mixers are an option with innovative flavors like “Shack Attack,” filled with chocolate custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle, and cookie dough. Or if one’s feeling adventurous, there’s the “Pie Oh My Salted Honey Lavender Pie” that has vanilla custard, lavender, and honey, with a piece of pie crust on the bottom.

“Our frozen custard is made with real sugar, and we use only dairy from farmers that have pledged to never use artificial growth hormones or antibiotics,” Meyer said. Shake Shack even offers beer and wine to the over-21 crowd, including the ShackMeister Ale that comes from Brooklyn Brewery, red and white wine, and sparkling prosecco, ranging from $5.89 to $15.00.

With the best ingredients and products, Shake Shack produces the juiciest and most flavorful burgers that are complemented with their secret ShackSauce. A burger is not complete without fries, and Shake Shack offers crispy crinkle cut fries that are perfectly salted. To top it all off, there are their famous shakes that help customers wash down their  burgers and could possibly change people’s lives with how decadent they are.

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