Shake Shack is finally entering the Bay Area burger fray. Representatives for the New York-based chain tell the San Francisco Chronicle that three locations are on the way: The first Bay Area Shake Shack will open in the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real, another is bound for Larkspur where a lease is being finalized, and a third is headed to San Francisco proper, most likely located in the Marina according to the paper.
Confirming the news, a Shake Shack representative tells Eater SF that the Palo Alto location should open in fall 2018. The space was previously a Wells Fargo bank that’s attached to PF Chang’s. It faces a small piece of parkland that the local Shake Shack will work with the city to “activate,” adding seating, string lights, and games. That setup recalls the first Shake Shack, which opened in 2004 in New York City’s Madison Square Park.
As for the San Francisco location, real estate blog Socketsite reports that the former Real Food Company location in Cow Hollow, at 3060 Fillmore Street (at Filbert) could be the Shake Shack’s new home. There, planning documents show developers want to convert the closed grocery store space to a combination “luxury fine casual restaurant and fitness studio.” Alec Paddock, a real estate developer for the site, confirms to Eater SF that he’s been in talks with Shake Shack about opening there.
“We have done business with them before, and like them as a concept,” says Paddock, “so that’s one we’re strongly considering at this point.” More is to be revealed at upcoming neighborhood outreach meetings.
Beyond the conditional use permit for change of use, the site would require a permit exempting Shake Shack from the city’s ban on formula retail, as Shake Shack is way, way beyond the local 11-location limit. The business has exploded into a major chain with more than 160 locations worldwide, seven of them in California. But until now, the brand has stayed out of the local Bay Area market, which includes similar chain Super Duper and boasts access to In-N-Out.
In the Marina, it should be noted, formula retail isn’t likely to be a deal-breaker. The area has permitted nearby businesses like Equinox, Nike, and Lululemon.