‘Urban lodge’ concept localizes Denver Shake Shack
SHAKE SHACK RINO DISTRICT | Denver
completed March 2018 | size 3,766 sf
photos Corey Anthony
Contributing Shop! member WD Partners design (with Shake Shack), architecture, fixture contractor
With a chain as popular as Shake Shack, it would be justifiable to go with a prototype model and build the same Shack Shack in every location. Customers would still line up for their famous burgers. But that’s not the Shake Shack way.
Eschewing a cookie-cutter approach, the national chain aims for its restaurant designs to feel like they are a part of the community and unique to the area where they are being built. In the case of this Denver restaurant, the local concept meant marrying the RiverNorth (RiNo) neighborhood’s artistic DNA with the innovative Shake Shack spirit.
In such a unique area like the RiNo district, the vibe and vitality of this proudly art-based community called for a completely unique, shining example of culturally relevant localized design. The overall design concept, dubbed “Inner Glow,” is meant to bring in the outside elements of the sun, snow, and mountains of the Rockies.
By using a unique shape and materials that complemented the branding, the design achieves a perfect balance between clear branding and a visual reflection of the surrounding neighborhood.
Guests are greeted by a two-story A- frame structure inspired by a modern urban lodge design concept. The warm, welcoming, comfortable atmosphere invites guests in, compelling them to stay a while while they enjoy their Concretes after their burgers.
The front facade’s sunshade recalls the familiar wooden snow fences that stretch across the Colorado flatlands. Golden wood planks throughout continue the woodsy vibe, from eye-catching wall treatments to creative, hard-edged shapes suspended from the ceiling.
In a nod to the area’s artsy side, large abstract murals make a splash on the interior walls of the restaurant. Seating carries the brand’s signature green prominently featured on lighted exterior signage inside without taking away from the space’s one-of-a-kind feel.