The rumors are true. Shake Shack is coming to Houston.
In an email sent Tuesday afternoon, a Shake Shack representative writes that the company is "coming to The Galleria in Houston, TX late 2016. We don’t have any additional info to share at this time."
It's the first official word from the New York-based burger chain that's grown from its first outpost in New York City's Madison Square Park into a global phenomenon with revenues that have grown at an astonishing rate. Houston will be the company's third Texas outpost. It is expected to be located in the Galleria's new addition, near the new Saks Fifth Avenue.
In addition to two locations in Austin, the company announced in October that it will open in Dallas in 2016.
Now that the company has committed to Houston, let the speculation begin about how it will customize its menu for the Bayou City. What will the equivalent be of the Kreuz Market sausage patty and Uchi-sourced concrete that are the company's special items in Austin?
Between the addition of Shake Shack and Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant Yauatcha, The Galleria is suddenly emerging as a culinary destination. These new additions will help it keep pace with River Oaks District, which is set to open seven new restaurants by this summer.
Whether Houstonians will brave Galleria traffic to stand in line for shack burgers remains to be seen, but the mall draws enough tourist traffic that it's almost guaranteed to be a success. Besides, the company could always open a few additional locations in other parts of the city to share the wealth.