A fixture of suburbs like Rosemont, Evanston and Tinley Park, Steak ’n Shake is a fast food indulgence that’s usually reserved for road trips, as the national restaurant chain currently has no presence in Chicago. You may not have to leave city limits for a steakburger any longer—Chicago magazine was the first to notice a Facebook post from 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Thompson, who announced that a Steak ’n Shake restaurant is “coming soon to Halsted and Maxwell” in University Village.
Originally founded in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Steak ’n Shake boasts more than 540 locations throughout the United States. The chain is known for its thin, griddled hamburgers, shoestring fries, an extensive menu of milkshakes and its $4 menu, which features an array of affordable meals. Many Steak ’n Shake restaurants are open 24 hours a day, offering diner-style table service, to-go meals and a drive-thru, though it’s unclear if the Chicago location will follow suit.
Chicago’s great lineup of local burger chains (such as M Burger, Epic Burger and Billy Goat Tavern) has made it difficult for national chains to gain a foothold in the city—last year, Red Robin and Colorado import Smashburger closed all their respective Chicago restaurants. While Shake Shack won’t necessarily be competing with the best burgers in Chicago, it will face an uphill battle to become more than a novelty for diners craving some fast food cuisine that feels like the suburbs.