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Shake Shack for group at night?

My husband and I are planning a drop in get together for a weekday night around 7PM with a big group of friends (15-30). Is Shake Shack a good choice or is it too crowded? Any other suggestions for casual drinks and food where people can stop by?

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  1. Shake Shack would be a terrible option for this. If it's a nice night, you can each expect to wait upwards of 45 minutes in line getting your food (probably longer since you will just have increased an already long line by 15-30 people), and there's no place for you guys all to sit together.

    1. I've done this before, but with only 15ish people. As long as everybody knows what they're getting into, it's fine. 30 might be a bit much, especially if everybody shows up at the same time. But if it's "drop by" then it's OK, especially if the weather isn't that great.

      You get there, hang out, wait for others to arrive, wait in line with your friends, and designate someone to look for/push together free tables so you can all sit together. It might take a while but if you're patient, it's doable.

      11 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Given the limited seating, I would view it as incredibly rude to horde all those tables for a long period of time (i.e, while waiting for everyone to show up, stand in line, get their food, etc.). YMMV.

        1. re: Blumie

          If I'm with a bunch of people we only start to grab tables after people have ordered and we end up on the edges of the park.

          1. re: kathryn

            Sorry, I didn't mean to accuse you of being rude!

            1. re: Blumie

              It's quite alright! :)

              Frankly, competition for tables has become so fierce at Shake Shack, it's pretty much every man (or woman) for himself these days.

            2. re: kathryn

              Thanks for the feedback. Any suggestions for other places?

              1. re: yummyseeker

                Are you trying to stay in the same general vicinity?

                1. re: Blumie

                  Not necessarily in the same general vicinity -- just something that's relatively easy for people from both the UWS and LES to get there.
                  Any other thoughts?

                2. re: yummyseeker

                  Presuming you want something in the same vicinity, here are two places that seem like the kinds of spots where your friends could drop by at their convenience, have a drink and some food. You'd have to call to inquire about seating arrangements.

                  Choice Kitchen & Cocktails is on 3rd Av., b/t 27th & 28th Sts. We've only had lunch there, but our salads were very good, so I would hope other things would be too.

                  http://www.choicekitchennyc.com

                  Arctica Bar & Grill is on the same block. I've not been but have heard some very good things about the food.

                  http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                  1. re: RGR

                    Blue Smoke BBQ on 26th would be great fun for a group.

                    1. re: pastoralia

                      Sounds to me that the OP is looking for a place that's great for a group, but also a place where people can come and go as they please. So it probably needs to be a less popular place. Blue Smoke would be great if everyone were arriving and leaving at the same time.

                      Unless they've recently been enjoying a surge of popularity, the newly reopened Black Pearl, on 26th between 6th and B'way, is pretty quiet. It has a nice bar and decent food (even if people aren't as excited about the place as they were in its old location).

                      1. re: Blumie

                        You're right, blumie -- that's what I'm looking for. I'll check into Black Pearl. Thanks.