Shake Shack bringing green edge to District burger scene

Hamburgers in D.C. have become a district delicacy, with established and successful burger joints like Ray’s Hell Burger and Good Stuff Eatery dominating the scene.

But these eateries are about to get even more competition, as Shake Shack opens its doors May 17.

The self-described modern, “road-side” burger joint will be opening its doors at 11 a.m. near Dupont Circle.

“I think D.C. is ready for another great experience,” Zachary Koff, director of operations for the Shake Shack restaurants in Miami and D.C. “It’s definitely a meat and burger town, so it’ll be a great place to create a sense of community for people to gather, enjoy good food and just have fun.”

The burger joint first opened in New York City’s Madison Square Park, in 2004. It has since expanded to four other New York City locations, Miami, Westport, Conn., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait City, Kuwait.

Shake Shack’s staples include the ShackBurger, hot dogs and “concretes,” which the menu describes as “dense frozen custard blended at high speed with toppings and mix-ins.” Some new flavors for concretes that the company will be debuting in D.C. are “the presidential sweep,” “majority whip” and the “Washington monumint.”

“All I can say is that there is definitely a lot of fun things planned for opening day,” Koff said. “There has been a lot of really good buzz so far, and as far as the line goes, we’ll be ready for it, that’s for sure.”

The Detroit-based band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be performing a quick set at 12:30 p.m. on opening day as part of the festivities.

In honor of commencement, Shake Shack will be giving away free cups of their “concretes” all week to any recent graduates. All they need to bring to Shake Shack to receive a frozen treat is proof of graduation.

Recent accolades that Shake Shack has accumulated include New York Magazine’s “Best Burger” award in 2005 and a spot on Zagat’s list of the most popular restaurants in New York.

Shake Shack has also made a commitment to try being as environmentally friendly as possible. The company practices on-site composting of all organic materials and recycles used cooking oil into bio-diesel fuel, according to its website. The construction of its New York City Upper West Side location implemented sustainable materials, LED light fixtures and a green wall, which they describe as a “recyclable modular unit and pre-grown living system that will remain in bloom all year round,” on the website.

The Shake Shack in D.C., located at 1216 18th Street NW, will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

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