Shake Shack Closes for ‘Major Renovation’ To Address ‘New Digital Needs’

The extremely popular Shake Shack on 77th and Columbus closed suddenly on Monday with paper on the windows and a sign saying that the restaurant will be “back soon.” Some passers-by who saw paper over the windows wrote to us lamenting that another restaurant was shuttering. But don’t fret! Shake Shack is not only sticking around, they just signed a new long-term lease!

“We should be closed for about 6 weeks to undertake a major renovation our space,” a spokesperson from Shake Shack tells us. “We have been open on the UWS for 12 years and recently were able to extend our lease for another 12. We are closing to modernize the facility for our team members and provide an enhanced guest experience to meet the new digital needs of the business – adding kiosks, expanded pick up, and separate pick up location for delivery.”

We previously reported that this Shake Shack will be undergoing a renovation, and that it could even reduce those very long lines that sometimes stretch outside the restaurant. It would make sense to separate people who are just there to grab burgers from those looking to sit down for a while.

Photos by Alfred Szymanski.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Both Harriet’s Kitchen and Island Burgers and Shakes had great food. While Shake Shack is strategically placed close to the Museum, there’s no longer a reasonable, quality burger place further north any longer.

      • Adam Idris says:

        This place sucks. A totally hyped product that is usually subpar and over priced.
        A symbol of the hipster generation buying into mass marketing bullshit and not quality food. I was hoping this location would go out of business so I can safely walk down the street without having to avoid the massive strollers and people that line up like cattle for the crap this place sells. Places like this belong in midtown or bryant park. Not on the upper west side !!!

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          The crowds out the door would seem to believe otherwise. Great use of all the current catch phrases though.

        • Sherman says:

          @ Adam Idris-

          Every time I walk by a Shake Shack it’s packed. They must be doing something right.

          You’re view is in the minority.

        • Rafaela says:

          2nd this sentiment!

          I live down the street form the one on 116th and Broadway. Never, until Shake Shack arrived, have the sidewalks been as filthy, stinky and slimy –you can trace the grease stains from the front door to the sidewalk where they pile the trash. Awful “neighbor.”

        • Joke says:

          Yes, hipsters are known for their appreciation of mass marketing.

          Your grasp of stereotypes seems to have evaporated in the angry interval from brain to keyboard.

          Just go ahead and yell at the damn kids to get off a your lawn; I’m sure it’ll make you feel better.

        • Mike Towerd says:

          Shake Shak is ok but I think its a little over hyped. As for the people waiting in line outside the store they need to get a life. They do the same thing in weekend mornings outside Bagel places. Real New Yorkers would never wait outside a store for an overpriced burger or bagel.

      • RK says:

        Comparing Shake Shack to Island or others is like comparing meatloaf to meatballs. Both made from the same ingredients but different final products.
        Shake Shack is a griddled burger – they take a puck of (very high quality) ground beef, smash it on a hot griddle to make it very thin and maximize the browning around the nooks and crannies, then throw it on a (buttered) potato roll. Most of what you’re tasting is the browned goodness on the exterior since there is no real interior.
        Most other burgers are patties at least an inch thick that are grilled to cook the outside but the inside remains beefy. The eating experience is completely different.

        You may not like the griddled style of burger, which is certainly your prerogative, but realize that many of the foodie intelligentsia would disagree with you.

      • BlingBling says:

        What about that little burger joint that used to be on Broadway near 93rd? What was that called “burger-something?” (HAPPY BURGER?)

        Killin burgers, amazing breakfast specials.

      • Isaac_SandalwoodHunk says:

        This place has been going downhill for a long time, like a skier doing moguls down Mt. Everest. I’m just glad they finally listened to me. I’ve been saying for years, every time I go in there, “the wiz on these cheese fries won’t survive the coming digital apocalypse! Look what happened to Big Nicks!”

        Now we have to go to the UnNatural History Museum (round earth? Gimme a break!) to get our burger and fries fix, and try to eat our meal in peace while T-Rex watches on, afraid that if he falls his stupidly short arms won’t catch him.

        This is the kind of burger famine you only get on the plague-ridden streetcorners of the Upper East Side!

      • UWSmom says:

        @Michael – Fred’s (83rd and Amsterdam) has great burgers. Check it out!

        • Zac woof-woof says:

          Fred’s is probably the one of the best! If not the best restaurants that we have to offer on the Upper Westside for years…and still going strong, woof-woof.

      • Chris says:

        The Fairway Cafe has really good burgers. Not as cheap as Shake Shack but less than Fred’s or Five Napkin. $16 for the amazing (and my favorite) Truffle Shuffle burger including french fries!

    2. Leon says:

      I like but don’t love Shake Shack – I enjoy going there occasionally but wouldn’t wait in a long line for it. Given all of the empty store fronts in the neighborhood, I wish they could have found a larger space to move into.

      When this location is crowded (most of the time), it is a really miserable experience to go there. And the way the crowds spill out onto the sidewalks really clogs things up, particularly because many of the patrons are tourists and/or people with large strollers. Hopefully Shake Shack will be a good neighbor and find a solution to this problem.

    3. Rodger Lodger says:

      I love their burger but hate the inside of the place. Noisy and crowded. Looking forward to the renovation.

      • Billy Amato says:

        Is my understanding it promises to be a spectacular renovation even downstairs and more assessable upstairs for the space they have to offer.

    4. John says:

      What am I going to do where am I going to find food? I may Starve…..

    5. suzanne hines says:

      I will definitely miss this place while they are closed. The burgers really are made from high quality ingredients, Danny Meyer style. The shakes are absolutely dreamy. I just hope they make the wait times faster. Last time I ordered from the app, I arrrived on time but waited 30 additional minutes to pick up.

    6. Billy Amato says:

      Danny Myers mentioned this this pass autumn that he would be going through a renovation of the Upper West Side ShakeShack on 77th St. and what a better time to do it even though he has outstanding liens right in the middle of winter.
      You got to do what you Gotta do…
      Good for him, Good for us and good for your tummy.

    7. David S says:

      Now that Shack Shack is closed, can we have Jacques-Imo’s back?

    8. Mark says:

      Listen to yourselves, you bunch of old grumps. All the grumbling over a burger. Jeez.

      • Grumpy old Westsider says:

        But this is the Upper Westside!
        What do you expect with this group of people that have nothing to do all day…

      • Cato says:

        — “All the grumbling over a burger. Jeez.”

        Must be a Jeez-burger, I’d say.

    9. RB says:

      I love how many people complain on this blog about a grocery store or restaurant as noisy or crowded. It really says a lot about the UWS more than the actual place that they are complaining about.

    10. Jeff says:

      I also miss Harriet’s. Really good burger cooked to order. I find Shake Shack burgers are always over-cooked. Any opinions about 5-Napkin?

      • Juan says:

        I like Five Napkin. Service is somewhat hit or miss there. But they are not really competitors to Shake Shack – different price point. If I am getting a burger to go, I would get Shake Shack, as it is arguably a better burger at a much lower price. If I want a sit down experience, then Five Napkin wins as it is a much more peaceful place.

      • erika says:

        I love 5 Napkin but it is $$ and their takeout takes forever.

    11. WhelanBeer says:

      I wish they’d open an In-n-Out.

    12. UWS Native says:

      Hope renovation includes improvements to the ventilation system to reduce the greasy, stinky air exhaled into the surrounding streets!

    13. Helen Friedman says:

      The Shake Shack has been a blight on W. 77th St for years. Here’s hoping the new one looks & functions better –including better garbage collection around all the park benches,which serve as Shake Shack’s free outdoor sitting space. A good business model, but not a good neighbor, in my family’s opinion.