With Portland's restaurant industry on the verge of total annihilation, it's shocking to hear about new developments coming down the pipe. And this one's a doozy: Shake Shack, the international burger titan, has plans to open its first Oregon storefront in the heart of downtown Portland, right across from Powell's Books.
The Daily Journal of Commerce was the first to spot site plans and renderings filed with Portland's Bureau of Development Services for 1016 W. Burnside St, currently The Vitamin Shoppe, boasting a 4,976-square-foot footprint, not including its sizable parking lot. (Side note: it's also right across the street from the Portland Monthly offices—yes, we accept free milkshakes!). Per DJC: "Parking on the north portion of the site would be removed and replaced with an approximately 860-square-foot, covered patio area with seating and an approximately 2,500-square-foot, uncovered outdoor area with tables, terraced seating, a fixed ping-pong table, and short-term bicycle parking."
For those who've been living under a rock for the last 20 years: Shake Shack is an American fast food chain launched by New York mega restaurateur Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Eleven Madison Park, etc.). His first "location"—a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park—was introduced in 2001, rapidly expanding across the country and, later, internationally. Today, Shake Shack has some 249 locations around the globe, Grand Central Station to Kuwait.
But Portland is a serious burger town—one suspicious of east coast hype. With local burger moguls like Super Deluxe's Micah Camden expanding their reach, Shake Shack had better bring its A-game. That is, assuming restaurants are able to recover after the pandemic. A future where only Shake Shacks remain in a scrappy, DIY city like Portland? Not a pretty picture.
Shake Shack was not immediately available for comment at the time of this posting.