A rendering of the new Shake Shack presented to the LPC.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a proposal by Shake Shack to change the storefront for its upcoming location at 116th and Broadway, even though some historic preservationists think the design is an “affront” to the area, according to New York Yimby.

The new Shake Shack is opening in a former Ollie’s Noodle restaurant at 2957 Broadway. The area was recently declared to be an historic district, so Shake Shack had to take the design before the LPC. The chain wants to add Shake Shack signs and small neon green burgers to the facade.

But the Historic Districts Council, which does advocacy regarding landmarked buildings, wasn’t impressed. “Obstructing the masonry piers of this building with a sign for a hamburger restaurant is an affront to its elegant architectural design. Instead, our committee would like to see signage fit within the storefront bays, even if the signage is obstructed.” said Patrick Waldo according to Yimby. “Additionally, our committee finds the wood paneling on the sign to be inappropriate for this building.”

The commission nonetheless gave the project the go-ahead, with one member saying “Compared to Ollie’s, this is subtle.”

See more images at Yimby.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 36 comments | permalink
    1. nycityny says:

      Wow, 116th & Broadway. That location comes with a nonstop supply of Columbia students. That store will make a fortune.

    2. 92nd Street says:

      LPC to the rescue!
      I would have thought that Danny Meyer would better understand the nuance of placing his Fastfood Joint in a Historic District.

    3. ls says:

      Shake Shack’s popularity in NYC is really interesting. Have been to Shake Shacks in several other U.S. cities – and they are empty…

      • Stuart says:

        It’s the same thing with Chick-fil-A – big lines for a chicken place that’s usually in shopping mall’s food court.

        There are currently 10 Shake Shack locations in Manhattan. When does the market become oversaturated?

    4. John says:

      I don’t understand the Shake Shack phenom…. The burgers are good…. Not worth waiting on line for! Not worth standing to eat! There are plenty of good burgers to be had in restaurants where you can sit down, be waited on and eat in a timely manner! WTF…….

    5. josh says:

      Shake Shack is the Magnolia Cupcakes of the burger world. Overhyped and average, but they make a fortune!! Columbia students will flock to this place.

    6. Mark Moore says:

      It’s just a burger for crying out loud.

    7. Carlos says:

      I like Shake Shack. But I would not wait in line for one. New Yorkers like to wait in lines – they think it is proof that they are doing something important. The rest of the country thinks we are idiots.

      If I sent my child to Columbia and they were routinely waiting in long lines for Shake Shack and paying Shake Shack prices for meals, I would not be very happy.

      • Mark says:

        I don’t really agree. Are New Yorkers the ones waiting on line at Shake Shack?
        Are New Yorkers waiting at the TKTs booth in Times Square?
        I’m pretty sure that New Yorkers generally know how to avoid the lines (buy Levain cookies in the morning, go to another TKTs location or join TDF, etc).

        • kirbiemom says:

          I know of another way to avoid Levain lines – go to the one on Frederick Douglass Blvd and 116th Street instead of the one on 74th Street! Same cookies.

        • Carlos says:

          A lot of it is tourists but a lot of it is also natives. All of the Chipotles near my office have long lines of business people. I just saw a crowd of locals waiting for a sample sale. Upper West Siders wait in line to get into toddler classes at the JCC. It is part of the culture.

      • K8 says:

        Shake Shack prices would be lower than Columbia dining hall prices! I also remember long lines at the dining hall. Let them eat burgers.

      • Margaret says:

        Enh, I tend to think it’s tourists who are standing on line for onetime local neighborhood spots. Shake Shack, Levain, Sarabeth’s… in my experience the reality is there’s a guidebook on every other table.

    8. Sherman says:

      SS is opening all over the place and every time I walk by one it is packed.

      Yet, the stock doesn’t move.


    9. Alta says:

      Given the number of empty storefronts on the UWS right now, I think anything is progress. This could otherwise end up like the Metro Theater space.

    10. Spence Halperin says:

      I miss the old Chock Full O’Nuts.

      • joe says:

        First on the books job was in Chock on 86th & Bway in late 70’s…used to work after school

      • Bill says:

        The nutted cheese sandwich … mmmmmm.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        when i was at Columbia in the early 70s, that corner site was a Chock Full ‘o Nuts.

        and does anyone remember Ta-Kome Market? i loved their meatball heroes.

    11. grandmasterbeta says:

      Like the hanging ducks at Ollie’s were so glamorous. Hey, it’s a good burger place, good location, and hopefully will be popular. One less empty story. (although I prefer 5 guys)

    12. GG says:

      Just open a Chick-fil-A on the UWS already….please!!!

      Who do we need to talk to in order to make this happen??

      • Mark says:

        So buy a franchise.
        If you want it so much, make it happen. Stop whining already.

      • grandmasterbeta says:

        Shakeshack is at least a NY based chain. I wouldn’t feed a dog chic-fil-a. Why not just go to TGI Fridays or Applebee’s with the rest of the tourists, ya rube!

    13. Justina says:

      The UWS has lost its heart and soul. It was so awesome until the early 2000’s…then it just started to lose its unique character.

    14. francis says:

      The Ollie’s that preceded it wasn’t exactly Monticello.

    15. Barbara says:

      I”m more worried about the Extel monstrosity at 96thnStreet.

    16. Robert Levit says:

      Bring back “Chuck full of Nuts”.

    17. Fran says:

      In terms of Shake Shack, the REAL issue is not the architecture, it IS JUNK FOOD. Very little vitamins
      and minerals but huge calories Empty calories.
      Too bad. People just do not want to know. It’s like smoking.
      Would hope to see a quality vegetarian restaurant instead
      of another bad food place.

    18. ursus arctos says:

      The Yimby piece that is linked is quite interesting.

      It has a number of historical photos of the building (including one of the Chock Full from 1966), as well as a reprint of a Times article from 1995.

      There are also a number of photos of Ollie’s that tend to confirm the LPC member’s view that the Shake Shack signage is relatively subtle.

    19. TWIEB says:

      It becomes more and more difficult to take the “Landmarks” Preservation Council seriously when they oppose businesses like this in this manner. They sound like opposition merely for the sake of opposition. Voices like Patrick Waldo’s are just pretentiously obstructionist.

      And this is a problem. We need entities like the LPC to maintain their credibility and save their capital for cases when their input is legitimate. When they oppose EVERYTHING for ANY reason, it becomes impossible to side with them on ANYTHING EVER.

      Things change. Neighborhoods evolve. Thus will it ever be.

    20. Sean says:


    21. Nyer says:

      When I was a student at Barnard, that location was a Chock Full O Nuts.