In 2004, New York restaurateur Danny Meyer won a bid to open a kiosk in Madison Square Park across from the Flatiron Building in Manhattan. What he installed was a modest, order-at-the-window burger stand, Shake Shack, with some tables scattered around in front and Christmas lights hanging overhead from the park’s shady trees. This week, the roadside-style burger stand rings in its 10th anniversary with a celebration testifying to its phenomenal rise to international fame over the course of the past decade, as it now has locations in cities across the U.S.—11 in New York alone—in addition to the Middle East, United Kingdom, Turkey, and Russia. Its burgers, hot dogs, fries, and frozen custard—served fast but made from quality ingredients—have gathered a cult following, with lines only getting longer the older it gets.
Its week-long birthday bash that runs through the 13th testifies to its international acclaim, as few restaurants could harness the roster of celebrity chefs that it has. Daniel Boulud of Daniel and the Boulud group, Momofuku’s David Chang, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad, and April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig and The Breslin have each designed limited edition burgers to be served throughout the week at the Shack’s birthplace in Madison Square Park, with one dollar from each US$8.50 burgers donated to Madison Square Park Conservancy and NYC Parks. Already, David Chang’s “Shrimp Stack” burger—a cheeseburger topped with a smoked shrimp patty, Momofuku Hozon Sauce, lettuce, pickled onion, and salted cucumber—drew the restaurant’s longest line in history, which is a feat, as 45-minute waits are of the norm. And on the 12th, the official birthday date, infamous inventor of the Cronut, Dominique Ansel, will stop by to hand out free cake while supplies last, and a lineup of indie bands will perform throughout the day.
“We never dreamed ten years ago that our humble little kiosk would set the stage for where we are today,” said Randy Garutti, Shake Shack’s CEO. “We’re honored to collaborate with this extraordinary group of innovative chefs who have changed the world of food, and we’re proud to call them our friends.”
For more information, visit Shake Shack.