HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Shake Shack Possibly Coming to the Common (Competing with another Proposal)

Well I just tried Shake Shack in NYC - and the burgers and shakes were excellent - juicy, very flavorful burger, real thick shakes, and interesting frozen custard - poached pear - (thoguh maybe not worth the 45 minute wait) - would be a great addition to Boston Common (though I bet the lines would be crazy) -


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Where's the "like" button on this thing?

    1. I hope this pans out - it was the one place I was unable to get to on my last NYC trip (I think we went to the Doughnut Plant instead).

      1. Oh my, I would be about 500 lbs in the blink of an eye!

          1. I wouldn't get too excited just yet. Building a restaurant on the Common with all the politics and logistics involved....I would say that you won't see a SShack or anything else for at least 2 years. And for Boston and it's politicians-that would be fast. A sad but true fact about this City and how it works.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TopCat

              Someone needs to get Menino a Shackburger and Concrete ASAP. Even then, I put the odds of a Shake Shack opening on the Common at close to zero unless Danny Meyer has an inside connection at City Hall. Too bad (except for my waistline)

            2. I would be pleased to provide a letter of support for this proposal.

              1. Add me to the list of people that would like to see this happen. Our Mayor is very against legal alcohol sales on the common (you could probably obtain most any other substance..:)) Maybe a SS could work without alcohol sales.

                The seafood shack that was supposed to open at the end of Long Wharf never came to fruition.

                Years ago, Tom Kershaw of Cheers opened a restaurant on the Common; overlooking the Frog Pond. He set up live music on a platform in the pool. Nice idea but without alcohol sales, it couldn't make a go of it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 9lives

                  Although the Shake Shack sells beer and wine, I don't think their revenue is as reliant on alcohol sales as many restaurants are. But Boston is a very different market than NYC, and whereas, on a nice day, Shake Shack can attract 45-minute lines in NYC from the moment they open til the moment they close, I don't see that happening in Boston. That said, and notwithstanding the fact that I think a Shack Burger is a fine product but hardly worth a 45-minute wait in line, I too think it would be a great addition.

                2. There is nothing bad about Shake Shack coming to Boston!

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: ced9

                    Jay Fitzgerald, business reporter at The Herald, begs to differ: http://hubblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/j...

                    I think his take is provincial in the worst way: he seems to think anyone who admires anything good about the New York restaurant scene wants to "ape all things Manhattan". I'm going to guess he doesn't spend much time on Chowhound.

                    As I've said elsewhere, you can love Boston and hate the Yankees and still find things to admire about New York, which I consider the country's best restaurant town. Fitzgerald seem oblivious to the fact that Shake Shack is a Danny Meyer restaurant, a Union Square Hospitality Group joint. That means it's part of: a) the most customer-beloved restaurant group in Manhattan, arguably the toughest dining audience in the States; and b) among the organizations most widely admired by its industry peers -- Meyer literally wrote the book on modern restaurant hospitality.

                    Yes, it's a chain of sorts: there are four of them now. I've had an original Shake Shack burger (and fries and shake), and think it would instantly become one of the best inexpensive burgers in the city were it to open here. Meyer's restaurants are famed for rigorous quality control, a very strong culture of hospitality, emphasis on local sourcing, and commitment to supporting the neighborhoods they operate in. Call it the Frappe Shack if you must, but get it here. A lot of Boston restaurants could learn something from that operation.


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      agree with everything your wrote about meyer and have had amazing service in all his nyc spots. would i wait in line 45 minutes for a burger? never in a million years. curious how new yorkers are thought to be so impatient, yet have a very different attitude about cuing up than do bostonians.

                      that being said, the mayor seems dead set against anything viable in the commons, and the likelihood of a green light for a nyc group seems remote indeed. when cod fly, ya know? i think a busy, well-run casual place in the commons would be a terrific asset, bringing foot traffic to an area that tends to get seedy and questionable at night. most places in boston that serve alcohol do not present quality of life issues to their neighborhoods, but are instead an asset to the tax base.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Love the Frappe Shack name. Maybe even better - Ye Olde Frappe Shack? Anyway, I can't understand why the Mayor would be against a place that served alcohol on the Common. What does he think will happen.?

                        We could also use some sort of cafe(s) on the Greenway to liven things up, especially in the winter. An added bonus is that revenue could be generated from renting the land it is on.

                        1. re: pemma

                          Make Mumbles think it's his idea and figure out a way to make sure his thugs get their cut and there'll be a Shake Shack on the Common by noon tomorrow.

                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            Maybe if gets to determine the shape of the roof it will be a go.

                        2. re: hotoynoodle

                          Take the tourist perspective: inexpensive burger right downtown, in the park you were going to spend 45 minutes lollygagging in anyway? A-plus.

                          1. re: djd

                            Which will have the added benefit of us locals being able to tap our feet impatiently, whilst waiting for those damned tourists to quit clogging up our Shake Shack lines. Perhaps they can top the experience off with limited seating, equipped with wifi and board games.

                            1. re: nsenada

                              OK. You have got to let wifi, baseball hats and "no, noodle" go. We all do. ;-)

                              1. re: yumyum

                                Forgot about "no, noodle"! Well, I guess I can hope for some kind of new food-related clash.

                                I think I'm going to get a petition going to put a Speed's on the Greenway. I was also thinking, as I was lamenting the lack of the Doughnut Plant here, that either that or a knockoff, that served awesome coffee, would be a great addition. I would line up in -100 degrees for that. Might back up the traffic, though.

                        3. re: MC Slim JB

                          Considering Shake Shack started as basically a Rip-off of the West Coast Chain In-n-Out, I'm not sure what the complaints about it being too New York-ish are about.

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the other bid also from a New York restaurateur? The first Herald article states that Jeffrey Mills (the other bidder) worked in Boston and went to BC, but that he now runs restaurants in New York. If it makes Mr. Fitzgerald feel any better, Danny Meyer was born in St. Louis, not NYC. Provincialism should at least be well-informed.

                            In searching for Danny Meyer's birthplace, I noticed a recent article that said a Shake Shack is also opening in Miami, FYI.

                            By the way, would I wait in line for 45 minutes for one of the city's best burgers? Well, I've waited 45 minutes for a burger at the Druid. And I drove 45 minutes to Five Guys in Dedham. So sure, why the hell not on a nice day?

                            1. re: hckybg

                              Jeffrey Mills had a restaurant called Biltmore Room in NYC that closed in 2006; I believe he's been based in New York but out of the restaurant business (and working as an actor) since then. His "local concept", when he starts talking about Freedom Trail Ketchup, sounds kind of cheesy and wrong. Is that supposed to remind us of the blood of patriots, or something? By contrast, Meyer is a known, proven quantity.

                              I thought that at one point a couple of truly local operators like Ken Oringer were vying for this space: what happened to them?


                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Not only does his concept sound cheesy and wrong, but if I wanted what he's offering, I could go across the park to the Bull and Finch or to Faneuil Hall and at least get a beer with my "New England food" and Freedom Trail Ketchup.

                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                  garrett harker was also considering a bid. supposedly the city will start taking and considering bids early 2010. as it stands, the pink palace allows only a 1-year lease. who the heck will pour money into something so short-term? they are trying to up that to 8-years, which isn't great either. unless the mayor allows at least a wine and beer license nothing will fly and nobody in their right mind would commit.