City News

Shaking up Hilldale: New York burger chain Shake Shack coming to Madison

Shake Shack will open its second Wisconsin location at the Hilldale Shopping Center in 2020.

Shake Shack will open its second Wisconsin location at the Hilldale Shopping Center in 2020.

Image By: Courtesy of Aaronr12300 through Creative Commons

Shake Shack, the New York City-based burger, hot dog, custard and shake chain, will open its second Wisconsin location at the Hilldale Shopping Center in 2020.

The shop will open at Hilldale where Cafe Porta Alba is currently located, said Kate Hagen, who does publicity for Hilldale. The first Shake Shack in Wisconsin opened in Milwaukee's Third Ward in late 2017.

Since its founding, Shake Shack has been one of the fastest-growing food chains — it has more than 250 locations globally, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. 

Shake Shack grew out of a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation, according to their website. It was such a success that people lined up for three summers until it got a permanent kiosk in the park.

Shake Shack was founded by Danny Meyer in 2004 in New York City. Meyer, one of the biggest names in the restaurant industry, founded some of the city's top restaurants, like Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino and Union Square Cafe.

Hilldale is very different from New York City but creates “a place that captures a little bit of everything that makes Madison feel like Madison,” according to their website.

And it’s been successful thus far. The shopping center has experienced great growth in 2019, according to Hilldale General Manager Nanci Horn. They’ve added several new stores, dining options and shifted the AMC theater into an AMC Artisan Theater.

The chain’s Milwaukee location features several local twists — like an ice cream treat blended with a seasonal pie from a local diner, a brat burger and cheddar brat. The location also serves beer and wine, including several local brews.

For now, it’s unknown what Madison local favorites could be highlighted on the menu.

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