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By Elena Kadvany

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jan 16, 2018

Shake Shack, the burger darling of the East Coast, is coming to Palo Alto this fall.

Shake Shack announced on Tuesday that it will be opening at Stanford Shopping Center. The restaurant is taking over the Wells Fargo bank next to PF Chang's, along El Camino Real.

The Palo Alto outpost — Shake Shack's first in Northern California — is part of a broader Bay Area expansion plan. The restaurant chain is also eyeing locations in Marin and San Francisco's Marina district, a press release states.

A spread of Shake Shack cheeseburgers and crinkle-cut fries. Photo courtesy Shake Shack.

Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said in the release that the company has "long admired the talented chefs, winemakers and artisans of the Bay Area's vibrant food scene.

"It is with great respect and humility that we enter that landscape, deepen our West Coast roots, and bring a new community gathering place to this iconic city after so many years," he said.

Shake Shack, often described as In-N-Out's East Coast competition, started as a hot dog cart in New York City in 2004. The company has since grown exponentially, with more than 100 locations across the country, including eight in Southern California, and more than 50 international outposts in cities such as London, Istanbul, Tokyo and Moscow. Founder Danny Meyer is now a renowned restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City.

Shake Shack's burgers are made from a proprietary blend of all-natural Angus beef, per the company's website. All burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested and served on a non-GMO Martin's potato roll.  The signature "ShackBurger" is a single or double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and "ShackSauce."

Shake Shack also serves a crispy chicken sandwich, flat-top hot dogs (a nod to Shake Shack's humble beginnings) and a vegetarian portobello mushroom burger. For dessert, there's handspun frozen custard, milkshakes and floats.

Ingredients are carefully sourced at Shake Shack. The beef is hormone- and antibiotic-free, vegetarian fed, humanely raised and source verified; the chicken, cage-free; and the frozen custard made with milk from dairy farmers who "pledge not to use artificial growth hormones," the website states.

The Palo Alto location will also have some "exclusive" menu items, said Kristyn Clark, senior manager of brand communications for Shake Shack. The chain plans to work with local purveyors to develop them.

The Stanford Shopping Center space faces a small piece of land that Shake Shack plans to "activate" with tables, chairs, string lights and games, Clark said.

It will be "reminiscent of our original Shack in NYC's Madison Square Park," she said.

Shake Shack will enter a crowded burger landscape in Palo Alto, with Gott's Roadside, Kirk's Steakburgers, Wahlburgers, Umami Burger and The Counter all close by -- not to mention two In-N-Out locations in Mountain View.

Check out renderings of the Palo Alto restaurant below, courtesy of Shake Shack: