Darien may soon be home to a new Shake Shack, a modern fast-food chain founded in New York City. The town’s Planning & Zoning Commission heard an informal discussion regarding the re-development and aesthetics of the proposed restaurant.
Shake Shack would occupy the former site of Chuck’s Steak House, a popular eatery that operated for more than 40 years at 1340 Post Road. Baywater Properties purchased the property in after it went on sale last year and Chuck’s ultimately closed its doors in early December 2014.
The next month, Shake Shack would offer its IPO, boasting 66 locations across the globe. Restaurateur Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack Inc., which first opened in Madison Square Park in 2004. Several years would pass before another Shake Shack would open, but the restaurant has added a number of high profile locations, reaching as far as Moscow, Dubai and Istanbul.
“When Chuck’s Steak House closed, we thought long and hard about the different opportunities we might have to lease that building,” Baywater founder David Genovese said. “And one of the things that we’ve been focused upon was trying to create another family-friendly restaurant, there are a lot of great restaurants in town now, but some of them can be expensive.”
Shake Shack seeks to emulate the roadside burger stands of old, offering burgers, hot dogs, signature shakes and custards. The restaurant is also committed to using humanely raised beef and non-GMO buns in order to maintain the quality of food.
Each Shake Shack location is committed to community outreach as well, donating to non-profits and charities as well as holding events for local organizations. Westport and New Haven are already home to Shake Shack branches.
“Every time we open a Shake Shack, it’s about creating that town’s community gathering place,” Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told Forbes in 2014.
Genovese said talks to bring Shake Shack to Darien began in Spring of this year. Though Tuesday’s scheduled presentation was simply informal, he believes that an application could be submitted by the end of the month. As there are no Planning & Zoning hearings in December, the proposal would be heard early next year.
“We feel like this gives us the opportunity to offer a high-quality restaurant run by an incredible group where a family or kids can go have lunch or dinner at a reasonable price and it’s a great experience,” Genovese said.