A Look Inside Colorado’s First Shake Shack – Opening This Week

After months of waiting and wading through a seriously crowded pop-up, Shake Shack is ready to open the doors of its first Colorado location — at 2995 Larimer Street — on Wednesday, March 21 at 11 a.m.

But two days before the public opening, the excitement is as palpable outside of the restaurant as it is inside. One of Shake Shack’s new RiNo neighbors — Zall Commerical Real Estate —hung a banner across the street to greet the restaurant, along with a plead of, “Is my order ready yet?”

General manager Debra Scheetz said that she’s opened three Shake Shacks, and this is the biggest welcome they’ve had from neighboring businesses.

“The community here has been outstanding so far. There’s been so much support from Crema, from Novo Coffee, from everyone, really. It makes us really excited to be here,” Scheetz added.

The burger joint opened its first location in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, and it has been met with serious fanfare ever since. Shake Shack now has more than 100 locations — with more than 80 between 18 US states and D.C. and another 50 plus international locations across Europe and Asia.

Since the packed pop-up last month, the team has already announced two more Colorado locations in the area — including one in Highlands Ranch and one inside the Denver International Airport.

The Space

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No matter the city, if you’ve ever been inside of a Shake Shack, this one should feel familiar. The familiar green accent is seen throughout the space, as well as industrial touches and light wood details that keep it in line with the RiNo neighborhood’s vibe. There’s also a small outdoor patio with pup-friendly spots the next time your dog wants to tag along.

Like other locations, the wooden tabletops are made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes and the chairs are built with a mix of sustainable materials. Booths are made with lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. At the front door, you turn to the left to come face to face with the floor-to-ceiling menu, and that’s where the fun begins.

The Food & Drink

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Shake Shack is known for its burgers (100 percent all-natural Angus beef), crispy crinkle fries and thick, decadent frozen custard and shakes. But, there are other menu options for those needing a burger break — including griddled, flat-top hot dogs and chicken sandwiches.

The Denver Shake Shack will also be home to entirely new menu items exclusive to Colorado, including the Colorado Green Chile CheddarShack — a cheeseburger served on the iconic soft Martin’s potato roll and topped with shredded white cheddar and green chiles and scallions that are marinated in vinegar, honey and more.

This location will have the rotating and seasonal shakes (hello, red velvet chocolate chip) and frozen custard concretes — and two of the concrete flavors are made in partnership with local dessert companies. The Glazed Dazed Donut is a vanilla custard with salted caramel sauce, chocolate toffee and a Glazed and Confuzed banana bread donut, and the Pie Oh My is a vanilla custard with a slice of seasonal pie from The Long I Pie Shop. Five percent of sales from the Pie Oh My concrete will go back to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

No meal (especially a burger) is complete without a good beverage, and Shake Shack doesn’t leave it all up to the soda machine. You can have beer or wine with that burger too, including a local tap from Ratio Beerworks. Other taps will rotate monthly and are expected to include Denver Beer Co., Great Divide, Funkwerks and Odell in the future. As always, the signature ShakeMeister Ale from Brooklyn Brewery will be available too.

And, if you do bring fido to the patio, don’t forget to order him or her the dog dessert — a Pooch-ini with vanilla custard, peanut butter sauce and signature ShackBurger dog biscuits.

Shake Shack is located at 2995 Larimer Street, Denver. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

All photos by Amanda Piela