Burgers Abound In Dallas: Why Are People So Excited About Shake Shack Opening? | KERA News

Burgers Abound In Dallas: Why Are People So Excited About Shake Shack Opening?

Aug 26, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Shake Shack opens its first location in Dallas on Thursday; 31 percent of teachers in the state have a second job; the exodus of some health insurers has Texans worried; and more.

Shake Shack will open its first North Texas location in Uptown Dallas on Sept. 1. Yes, the city is brimming with burger chains — all of which sell essentially the same thing (a beef slab between two pieces of bread). But, Shake Shack’s arrival? It’s a big deal, apparently.  

Even before people knew Dallas was getting a Shake Shack — the craving beckoned. So, what is it? What makes Shake Shack such a get for the city?

GuideLive's Sarah Blaskovich says the chain “nails it with simplicity,” particularly with its shakes and burgers and has a bit of magic (i.e. secret ShackSauce). In all fairness Blaskovich posited: “Is Shake Shack better than a cheeseburger at Off-Site Kitchen and a shake from Highland Park Old-Fashioned Soda Company? No, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go.” So, there's the no-harm-in-trying" factor. In addition to its classic menu items, the Dallas location will serve wine and beer, too; another draw for some diners.

The fast food joint started as a New York hot dog cart in 2004. Perhaps a lot of the hype in North Texas comes from the cultural, playfully “cultish” vibe associated with the East Coast chain. When SoCal-based In-N-Out Burger opened here five years ago, a Dallas writer covering the grand opening quickly recognized the “the religious nature of the burgers and the company’s faithful following.” People just like to believe in or be a part of something delicious, basically. These days, don't we all?

The Dallas location at 2500 N. Pearl St. in the Crescent Complex is a standalone building with a modern design, similar to the flagship store in Madison Square Park, according to GuideLive. Yet another plus to the new Shake Shack? It's nestled under 30-year-old live oak trees, perfect for outdoor seating and eventually, "park-like amenities" like bocce ball.

 

With all the buzz, the lines will likely be long on Thursday, forming well before doors open at 11 a.m. [GuideLive, D Magazine]

 

  • Nearly one third of Texas teachers have to work a second job to make ends meet. Public schools teachers with outside employment work an average of 13 extra hours each week, according to a survey by researchers at Sam Houston State University. And during the summers, almost half of Texas teachers have another job. The Dallas Morning News reported: “In this year's survey, 42 percent of respondents teach in kindergarten through fifth grade; 26 percent in grades six through eight; and 32 percent in high school.” However revealing, the survey is not scientific — 837 of the 60,000 members in the Texas State Teachers Association took part. [The Dallas Morning News]
  • Actor-puppeteer-costume-designer-director-writer-musician. And barista. That’s Dallas “theater artist” Justin Locklear’s unofficial job title. He’s been working in the city since 2009 and hasn’t really stopped since. He’s played “played crazies, villains, drag acts, an egg salesman and a singing cowboy named Dale Evans. He's also become Ochre House Theater's very first artist-in-residence. Now he's got a musical he wrote and directed. With clowns,” Art&Seek reported. Locklear’s the latest artist profiled in Artist Spotlight — a weekly conversation about the personal journey of a North Texas creative. [Art&Seek]

  • Health insurers are leaving the Texas market. And it’s causing concern among the roughly 1.3 million people who signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to The Texas Tribune. Companies, like Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Scott and White, that have left Texas say the costs of providing coverage to middle-income Texans have been unsustainable. Competition in the market could still improve if additional insurers choose to enter the Texas marketplace before the Sept. 23 deadline. [The Texas Tribune]
  • If you play/understand Pokémon Go, head to the Dallas Zoo tomorrow. The zoo claims to have 30 “Pokéstops” and three “gyms” in or near its 106-acre park. Players can drop by the zoo tomorrow from 6-9 p.m. to catch the many “lures” dropped throughout the park on pathways and in guest areas, according to the zoo’s website If you need to rest, there will be a 20-minute interactive wildlife show to watch at 6:30 p.m. The event is free for members and $7 for non-members. You can purchase tickets at the gate, and parking will be another $5. [Dallas Zoo]