We Went to the Shake Shack Opening, and Lived to Tell the Tale
In case you live under a rock, Shake Shack's Chestnut Hill location opened this morning. Our report from the front lines.
Eager college students, ex-pat New Yorkers, and a three-month old baby were just some of the people in line at the Shake Shack Chestnut Hill grand opening earlier today. Fans lined up as early as 10 a.m. to be the first to get a taste of the cult-fave New York quick-service chain’s burgers, fries, and shakes on opening day.
In the moments prior to the door’s opening, team members assembled in the restaurant’s lobby for a last-minute pep talk by Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti and other higher-ups in chef/owner Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. â€śLet’s all have a great opening, and let’s show Massachusetts what we can do!â€ť fans in line could hear from outside the closed doors as the employees inside began to chant the restaurant’s name in unison.
As customers entered the burger palace at 11 a.m., they were greeted with an extensive menu that included brand-new items like the â€śLobstah Shell Concrete,â€ť a sundae-like concoction that consisted of vanilla custard, lobster tail pastry shell from the North End, strawberry puree, and fresh ricotta cream. Other Shack staplesâ€”including the Shroom Burger, Shack Stack, and cheese friesâ€”were all also available.
To keep hungry fans satisfied as the line grew longer, employees passed out free samples of menu items like custard and specialty drinks, much to the delight of the crowd. â€śWho wants sunglasses?â€ť an eager team member shouted as he dispensed bright neon gold shades, all emblazoned with the Shake Shack logo. â€śI’m skipping school for this!â€ť shouted one girl as she grabbed the sunglasses and ran from the restaurant with a takeout bag in hand, clearly hoping to get back in time for her next class.
Our order: A Shackburger, fries, and Lobstah concrete.Â
Some diehard Shake Shack aficionados knew right away what was in store. â€śYou gotta get a vanilla shake,â€ť said one of the first customers in line, Wendy Schapiro. â€śIt’s the best way to judge a restaurant, and Shake Shack’s is just amazing.â€ť â€śNo, black and white is the way to go,â€ť interrupted her friend and fellow devotee Candy Gold, who had picked up an extra shake for her husband’s later consumption. â€śIt’s just too classic to pass up.â€ť
A special â€śMarch Custard Calendarâ€ť hung on the wall, listing unique flavors that included Boston Cream Pie (Mondays), Lime Coconut Crumble (Thursdays), and perhaps most intriguingly, â€śWaffles and Baconâ€ť (Saturdays).
Though the opening was widely hyped by local media (guilty), fans trickled in somewhat slowly as the doors opened, perhaps due to the fact that it was 11 a.m. on a Wednesday in Chestnut Hill, a neighborhood that is not necessarily a hotbed of foot traffic. As such, many of the patrons lived nearby. Shake Shack has mentioned that it will open additional Boston locations in the futureâ€”though no additional plans have been announced at the momentâ€”which would certainly be more convenient for most Boston residents, rather than having to schlep on the T all the way to the suburbs.
The Chestnut Hill Shake Shack is located at 49 Boylston Road, Chestnut Hill, MA, and is open daily from 11am to 11pm.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2013/03/20/we-went-to-the-shake-shack-opening-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale/