Most exciting gentrification

Photo// Nicole Elizabeth

Photo// Nicole Elizabeth


Denver is saturated in the craft burger department: Illegal Burger, BurgerFi, Smashburger, Larkburger, and Park Burger, just to name a few. Simultaneously, Denver is seeing an unprecedented stream of outsiders who have put the social landscape of the city in flux. What should stop a foreign burger barn from taking root in—and potentially further gentrifying—one of Denver’s real estate hotbeds, the River North District (RiNo)? New York-based Shake Shack seems fit to invade the Mile High City, and, surprisingly, the rest of the city seems entirely okay with it.

The reaction from local publications concerning the arrival of the East Coast burger chain has been overwhelmingly positive. “Everybody Panic: Shake Shack is Bringing its Burgers and Fries to Denver,” read Eater Denver. “Shake Shack is coming to Denver. (This is not a drill.),” and “The latest burger intruder to get folks drooling is Shake Shack,” read The Know, The Denver Post’s sister publication. Those who have experienced the 100 percent angus beef, crispy crinkle-cut fries, and foot-long hot dog wonderfulness would certainly attest that the chain restaurant is iconic for their tasty offerings.

Much to the chagrin of many who see this as casual foodie-gentrification, the chain seems to be making efforts to show their devotion to the city’s sensibilities. “Shake Shack is trekking to the Mile High City in late 2017,” a press release from Shake Shack said. “The Shack will be located in the RiNo Art District, a thriving creative community located just north of downtown Denver.” They noted that special attention will be paid to local businesses: “Chairs and booths will be made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council,” the press release said, adding that  frozen treats will be made to feature “local Denver purveyors.”

The RiNo Shake Shack will be seated on the corner of 30th and Larimer and is set to make a big splash. They are coming to the city with a plan to fit right into the changing landscape of the RiNo neighborhood. While most cases of transplant-infestations finding their way to the Mile High City brings frustration, it is becoming increasingly clear that this may be the best case of gentrification to come to Denver this year. After one sip of a hand-spun, creamy signature shake, it seems that the taste of chocolate-infused gentrification is something that Denver could get used to.

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