While Shake Shack has been beloved in New York City for its fresh-ground burgers, flavorful crinkle-cut fries and concretes for almost 15 years, the burger chain has only been migrating out from the city since 2015, building word of mouth wherever it lands. Last December, owner Danny Meyer opened his first store in his hometown of St. Louis, and now Shake Shack has at last made its move across the state over to Kansas City. The first KC Shake Shack location will open at 11am this Thu., Sept. 6 at 239 West 47th Street on the Country Club Plaza.
For Kansas Citians unfamiliar with the company, Shake Shack started out as a seasonal hot dog stand in Madison Square Park, where word of its crazy good (and affordable) smashed burgers and hot dogs spread quickly; within a couple of years, Shake Shacks popped up all over the city. The chain has since focused on healthy growth, aiming not to overplay its hand or outpace itself and reduce the quality of its product, which earned its reputation to begin with.
Shake Shack grinds its own hormone- and antibiotic-free beef daily, ensuring freshness and a flavor that’s hard to come by in a frozen or pre-made patty. Unless specified otherwise by the customer, all of Shake Shack’s burgers are cooked medium, leaving the centers pink, as you would find in a higher-end burger. The standard Shack burger (single or double) comes topped with lettuce, tomato and a creamy Shack Sauce, and is served on a soft non-GMO Martin’s Potato Roll. Other options include a burger served with bacon and spicy chopped cherry peppers (the Smoke Burger), a Muenster and Cheddar-stuffed crispy-fried portobello burger that can be ordered as a standalone burger (the ‘Shroom Burger) or served with a beef patty (the Shack Stack). Crunchy fried chicken sandwiches, topped with lettuce, tomato and herb mayo, are also available.
Shake Shack is also famous for its 100 percent Vienna-beef hot dogs, which are crisped on the griddle and served on a potato roll like the burgers. Get yours straight up, or as a Shack-cago dog, with relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper, celery salt and mustard. Chicken dogs are also available.
The restaurant is also well-known for its crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside crinkle fries, which are served plain or smothered with a gooey, American-Cheddar sauce. Frozen custard concretes are also served up at every Shake Shack, and unique to the Kansas City location is a concrete that has blended within it a piece of seasonal pie from Ashleigh’s Bake Shop in Westport. Five percent of sales from each of the Pie-Oh-My concrete will benefit the Young Friends of Art organization through the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Also unique to the KC location are a selection of local beers for sale, including selections from Crane Brewing Co., Torn Label Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co., in addition to Shake Shack’s proprietary beer that is brewed by Brooklyn Brewery. Wine is also available.
Shake Shack looks to make a splash when it opens next week by building word-of-mouth. A series of soft opening and training events will take place through the weekend and early next week. The first 100 customers to visit starting at 11am Thursday morning will also receive a custom-designed Charlie Hustle-Shake Shack T-shirt.
Kansas City has been eagerly anticipating the opening on the Plaza. Shake Shack employees say that even as they arrived at the airport to begin trainings, they were greeted by Kansas Citians eager to try their first locally made Shack burgers. Just a few more days and they can.
Shake Shack, 239 W. 47th St., Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, shakeshack.com