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Shake Shack in Towson’s Circle East to open Saturday

The fast-food restaurant Shake Shack is set to open its doors in downtown Towson on Saturday, the first eatery to come online at the Circle East redevelopment.

Customers craving the chain’s burgers, milkshakes or hot dogs will be able to pick up food from a walk-up window near the intersection of York and Joppa roads — part of an effort to facilitate social distancing during the pandemic.

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Shake Shack will open with temporarily limited hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. A dining patio will open for customers later this year, according to a news release.

Pickup or delivery orders can be placed through the Shack app and other online food delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub.

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For every sandwich sold on Saturday, Shake Shack will be donating $1 to the Student Support Network, a Towson-based nonprofit supporting Baltimore County Public Schools students living in poverty.

The closest Shake Shack to Towson is on Pratt Street in Baltimore. The chain’s other Maryland locations include M&T Bank Stadium, The Mall in Columbia and the MGM National Harbor Casino.

It’s the second business to open at Circle East, a $30 million development that broke ground in 2017, replacing the former Towson Circle, which included a Trader Joe’s and Barnes and Noble.

The new building includes 240,000 square feet of retail space, developed and operated by Retail Properties of America Inc., or RPAI. Ethan Allen, a furniture and interior design store, was the first store to open there.

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RPAI has not announced other retailers yet, but Circle East potentially can house 21 retail stores.

“Of all the redevelopment projects we’ve seen in downtown Towson,” Circle East might be “one of the most transformational,” because it’s “ improving a key gateway to Towson,” said County Councilman David Marks, who represents the greater Towson area.

Constructed in 1952, the building was formerly a Hutzler’s department store, which closed in 1990.

The Circle East project also includes around 370 apartments across Joppa Road, dubbed Avalon Towson and managed by Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities.

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