We expect a traffic jam near the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Treadwell Street in Austin on the morning of May 5, as the first Shake Shack in Texas has confirmed an opening date. And time: 11 a.m.
"We're so thrilled to be planting roots in Texas, and we couldn't ask for a better home than the cultural and culinary stronghold of Austin," Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said in a release. "We'll be working hard to cultivate a community gathering spot for locals and visitors to kick back with a delicious burger, frozen custard and cold beer."
The chain is reportedly scouting out Houston locations (and CultureMap readers have suggested some possibilities), but has not confirmed any spots. And some observers wonder if Shake Shack, whose all-natural burgers and quality custard have garnered the New York City-based chain a huge cult following, can compete in Houston's hyper-competitive burger scene
The South Lamar location will be serving Austin-only creations in addition to the standard favorites. Among the exclusive menu items are the Lockhart Link Burger (with Kreuz Market jalapeño cheese sausage), the Cold Shot (a vanilla and chocolate frozen custard named after the Stevie Ray Vaughan song), and Uchi-koncrete (a vanilla frozen custard with the Uchi team's miso hazelnut blondie and huckleberry jam).
Local influence has seeped into the beverage selections too, including cold brews from Austin outfits such as Hops & Grain, Independence, Karbach, Real Ale and Austin Eastciders.
Shake Shack plans to open a second Austin location further north, in The Domain.