New Haven will have to wait slightly longer than expected before the opening of Shake Shack’s first Elm City location.
The restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open in early September, said Steve Gubbins, the superintendent of the construction site at 986 Chapel Street that will soon house the burger joint, on Monday afternoon. That opening is slightly off-schedule, he added, because half of the front of the building had to be removed and rebuilt, a project that contractor Shawmut Design and Construction had not anticipated.
The restaurant will occupy one story of its location across from the New Haven Green and cover approximately 4000 square feet, according to Gubbins. The eatery’s green and blue walls are made from wood recycled from old University bleachers. The construction is far enough along that the kitchen area already has its milkshake machine, among other equipment.
Though Yale students are only beginning to return to campus, local residents expressed excitement about the restaurant’s opening.
Walking near the construction site on Monday afternoon, New Haven Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School students Kayla and Kendall Driffin said they have never been to Shake Shack, but would probably stop by after school once the burger joint opens this fall.
“It’ll give students another place to hang out,” Kendall said.
William Mathis, program manager for New Haven’s Project Longevity, who was also walking by on Monday, said he was unfamiliar with the restaurant chain but added that Shake Shack would likely bring several University students to Chapel Street.
“I think the addition would just make another appeal for people to be downtown,” he said.
New Haven’s Shake Shack is the burger joint’s second establishment in the state of Connecticut. The other opened last summer in Westport.