Shake Shack opened its first Baltimore location on Monday morning and about 25 people lined up in freezing temperatures to be the first ones inside.
Just before the doors opened at 11 a.m., Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti cut the ribbon on the new burger-and-shakes joint, the first occupant of a new 22,000 square-foot retail addition to the 400 East Pratt Street building. Among the future tenants are Chick-fil-A and Nalley's Fresh.
Kevin LeBlanc, a mechanical engineering student at The Johns Hopkins University, was first in line, having arrived just after 9 a.m. LeBlanc said that he and his friends had heard about the opening and talked about going on opening day, but he ended up being the only one who did.
LeBlanc ordered a double Smokeburger, a cheeseburger topped with smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and Shacksauce, the New York City-based chain's answer to McDonald's special sauce. He ordered a beer, too, a Shackmeister Ale, made for the chain by Brooklyn Brewery.
The Boston native, who said his favorite chain burger was from Five Guys Burger and Fries, gave the Smokeburger his approval. "This is the one to get," LeBlanc said.
A modern take on the "roadside" burger stand, Shake Shack's original kiosk location opened in 2004 in New York City's Madison Square Park and quickly attracted a cult following. Shake Shack now has locations in nine states and D.C., as well as additional locations in New York and international outposts in London, Moscow, Dubai and more.