Shake Shack gets ready to shake things up in Orange County

Shake Shack makes hand-spun shakes from house-made frozen custard.
(Courtesy of Shake Shack)

Shake Shack began as more of a hot dog hut, really. In 2001, the concept started as a New York City hot dog cart in Madison Square Park with the goal of raising funds for a public art project. Restaurateur Danny Meyer had a hand in founding the Madison Square Park Conservancy to organize the improvement of the park, and the cart was run out the kitchen of his fine dining restaurant, Eleven Madison Park.

The success of the temporary cart grew into plans for a more permanent kiosk, which was established in 2004 with an expanded menu in addition to hot dogs that included burgers, fries and, of course, shakes.

Since then, the concept has expanded globally and now has more than 400 locations from Las Vegas to Tokyo. The first Southern California location opened in West Hollywood in 2016. Now, Shake Shack has arrived to shake up Orange County.

“We see Orange County as a huge opportunity for the company, and we can’t wait to serve our delicious burgers and shakes to the community,” Andrew McCaughan, chief development officer at Shake Shack, said in a press release.

Shake Shack’s first O.C. location is set to debut this summer at Irvine Spectrum near the Regal movie theater.

The company is unrelated to the Crystal Cove Shake Shack, a traditional diner on the Newport Coast.

Shake Shack is known for elevated takes on American burgers and fries, using a never-frozen 100% Angus beef blend with no hormones or antibiotics. More epicurean offerings include a ‘shroom burger made with a crispy-fried portobello mushroom filled with Munster and cheddar cheese topped with lettuce and tomato or the newly added white truffle burger made with Fontina cheese, crispy shallots and white truffle sauce. The menu also features milkshakes hand-spun from house-made frozen custard in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter and caramel.

ShackBurgers and crispy crinkle cut fries, with ketchup, at the eatery.
(Courtesy of Shake Shack)

The altruistic spirit of the original location is still a main ingredient for Shake Shack. It is present in menu items, like the “fair shake,” a coffee milkshake made with 100% certified organic Arabica fair trade coffee beans. It is present in Shake Shack’s HUG (Help Us Give) Fund, a 501(c) (3) organization established in 2017 to provide financial assistance to team members impacted by emergencies.

It is also present in its “Stand for Something Good” mission.

The culture of “Stand for Something Good,” according to the company’s website, means Shake Shack is committed to taking care of its staff, sourcing premium ingredients from partners with the same values, dedicated to designing each Shake Shack location responsibly and supporting the communities they operate in with donations, events and volunteering.

Shake Shack has two other Orange County locations planned besides Irvine.

“Irvine Spectrum has been a great partner for our first O.C. Shack, and we are looking forward to growing our presence in the market with further planned Shacks in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach,” McCaughan said in the release.

The Huntington Beach Shack will be located on Brookhurst Street and Adams Avenue and will feature a drive through.

“We are so excited to bring Shake Shack to Orange County,” said McCaughan.

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