With locations from Citi Field to Saudi Arabia, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack has become a bona fide fast food empire since its first appearance as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Now the perennial favorite patty spot has announced a massive new home in the West Village—a veritable shake mansion at 225 Varick St that will mark the brand's first foray into the neighborhood when it opens in 2018.
The newest location will feature the usual menu of sandwiches, tube steaks and shakes, but it'll also be home to the billion-dollar brand's home office, which was formerly located in Meyer's beloved Union Square. For the first time, the brand's HQ will also house a dedicated test kitchen, where culinary director Mark Rosati and his team—who spent the past decade toiling in a Midtown basement—can experiment with new dishes such as sous-vide chicken sandwiches plus superstar-chef collaborations like Fergus Henderson's eel burger and a forthcoming dish from Paul Kahan of Chicago's Publican Quality Meats (available Oct 6).
While the new test kitchen is sure to streamline the creative process, there's bad news for burger heads. New dishes might make the menu, but the flavor lab won't be open to the public.