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With Midtown Village’s restaurant row buzzing away on one side, and the Fashion Districts of Philadelphia and East Market retail complex rising on the other, the stretch of Chestnut between 11th and 13th streets is suddenly hot.
The run of aging storefronts filled with drab kitsch got its first shakeup when the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store there received a fancy makeover. Then Target swooped in with a snazzy take on convenience. And at the beginning of this year, wood-fired pizzeria and craft beer bar Porta threw open its double-wide doors.
This summer, these spots will get a hip new neighbor: Shake Shack.
Set to go into the White Building condominiums at 105 S. 12th St., on the Chestnut Street corner, the outpost will marke the third Philly venture for the cult-favorite burger chain.
An application for a special zoning exception — which would combine three ground floor units into one large space serving sit-down and takeout food and drink — is currently pending.
On Thursday, a Shake Shack spokesperson confirmed plans for the Market East store, but wasn’t able to provide additional details, other than the target launch date.
In general, the company, which was founded by NYC megarestaurateur Danny Meyer back in 2004 and went public in 2015, recently announced a big expansion push. The previous strategy was one of “slow-growth,” but now Shake Shack is ramping things up. Where last year saw 26 openings around the globe, plans call for 50 new locations to come online in 2018.
Shake Shack landed in Philly in 2012, bringing its “roadside shack” menu of burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard “concretes” to 20th and Sansom streets in Rittenhouse. A University City branch launched a year later. King of Prussia is also already home to two Shake Shacks.
When it comes to Market East, the 12th and Chestnut spot is about a block and a half away from a Bareburger, and two blocks from a Wendy’s. Hard Rock Cafe is a block in the other direction, and Hunger Burger one street past that in Reading Terminal Market.
But is there really such a thing as too many burgers?