The popular upscale burger and milkshake joint Shake Shack will open its first California shack in the West Hollywood district of Los Angeles in 2016, the company announced Tuesday. It would be Shake Shack’s first branch on the West Coast, complete with an outdoor patio and parking lot.
"We've heard from our West Coast fans for years that they'd love a Shake Shack in California, and at long last, we're delighted to say Shake Shack L.A. is on its way," Randy Garutti, the company's CEO, said in a statement.
From its New York City food-cart origins in the early 2000s, Shake Shack has gradually begun expanding west in recent months, opening a branch in Chicago in November and Las Vegas in December. When the company went public in January, it was valued at $1.68 billion. It said in December that it planned to increase its number of stores in the United States from 36 to 450, although as Eater.com reported, Garutti suggested at the time that a West Coast expansion was not in the works. Shake Shack currently has at least 60 locations globally, including branches in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Istanbul.
The first California shack will be designed as a freestanding store by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, the company said, and built "in keeping with Shake Shack's commitment to green architecture and eco-friendly construction," meaning that it would use recycled materials and be energy efficient.
Shake Shack prides itself on serving "all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers (no hormones added ever)," the company's statement says, and has been one of the pioneers of the so-called fast casual dining movement. Similar to venues such as Chipotle and Panera Bread, it offers upscale ingredients as part of relatively gourmet, higher-priced meals that are prepared and served quickly, all without the stigma previously assigned to fast-food joints. Shake Shack’s popularity has soared in recent years, with fans waiting in notoriously long lines to order a burger, milkshake and some of the restaurant’s famous crinkle-cut fries.