Costa Mesa welcomes second Shake Shack to Orange County

Shake Shack draws a line of hungry customers during its grand opening in Costa Mesa Thursday.
(Susan Hoffman)

In the words of Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, “Nothing brings the city together like hamburgers and shakes.”

Stephens, his City Council colleagues, district representatives, Shake Shack team members and other distinguished guests participated Thursday morning in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honor of the grand opening of the second Shake Shack in Orange County and 47th in California. The first O.C. location is at Irvine Spectrum.

Shake Shack manager Harry Nguyen cuts the ribbon as Mayor John Stephens tosses it into the air.
Costa Mesa Shake Shack manager Harry Nguyen, with scissors, cuts the ribbon as Mayor John Stephens tosses it into the air during the grand opening opening Thursday.
(Susan Hoffman)

Newport Beach resident Sam Pierce and Salma Aranda of Lake Forest were at the front of a growing line of around 30 hungry customers as the new eatery prepared to take their orders.

“The foundation of the burger is built off Shake Shack,” Pierce said. Aranda chimed in with, ”I just love their burgers.”

Shake Shack is known for its American classic menu including made-to-order Angus beef burgers, “hand spun” milkshakes and Shack-made lemonade. Their motto is “Stand For Something Good.”

The Costa Mesa location will offer an Orange County exclusive, the OC Dreamsicle Shake, featuring vanilla frozen custard hand-spun with orange soda and topped with whipped cream and orange candy sprinkles.

In honor of Costa Mesa opening of the new Shake Shack location, employees do the traditional "Shack Clap."
(Susan Hoffman)

Orange County native Harry Nguyen, who previously worked in three other Shake Shack locations, serves as manager of the new Costa Mesa establishment. He oversees more than 60 employees.

“What’s different about us at Shake Shack is we’re big advocates of the community,” Nguyen said. “We really do care about the community. It’s important to help people from this area by hiring in their community.

“We would love for Shake Shack to be the rock of this community.” he added. “It has great food and is a great place to work.”

First in line at the Costa Mesa Shake Shack opening Thursday were Sam Pierce and Salma Aranda.
(Susan Hoffman)

The leasing agent for the center, Ken Gould of Lee & Associates, has been hands-on throughout the construction period of the new restaurant, which replaced an aging IHOP structure that more recently housed Pancakes R Us.

“The landlord and the other tenants of the shopping center at 333 East 17th St. ... along with the local community are very excited to welcome Shake Shack to Costa Mesa,” said Gould. “The city planning department was expeditious in processing the plans for the building, which got built in seven months.”

Shake Shack employees take care of hungry customers during the eatery's grand opening in Costa Mesa.
Shake Shack employees take care of hungry customers during the eatery’s grand opening in Costa Mesa Thursday.
(Susan Hoffman)

Blain and Bridget Skinner, owners of the shopping center, were also on hand Thursday to greet the crowd. “The center has been in my family since my dad and his partner built it in 1960,” said Bridget Skinner. ”This is a great day and we’re thankful to have them here and get them open and running.”

Lori White, a local shop owner of Antique Cottage Creations, also on 17th Street, attended the festivities in hopes of grabbing a burger before she had to open her nearby business. ”I’ve been waiting for them to open for a long time,” she said. “I watched them go from ground zero to here.”

Bridget and Blain Skinner, Costa Mesa Councilman Jeff Harlan, Mayor John Stephens and Councilman Loren Garmeros.
Owners of the center where the new Shake Shack is operating, Bridget and Blain Skinner, are flanked by Costa Mesa Councilman Jeff Harlan, left, Mayor John Stephens and Councilman Loren Garmeros during Thursday’s opening.
(Susan Hoffman)