LYNNWOOD — It was Chick-fil-A deja vu at Shake Shack.
A sheriff’s deputy directed traffic last week at the opening of another trendy fast-food joint with a cult following.
Shake Shack, a chain known for its hamburgers and milkshakes, has been a smash hit in Washington since its Seattle debut in 2018. The Lynnwood site is the state’s fourth and Snohomish County’s first.
Laurie Burns came Thursday from Kenmore for a SmokeShack.
“Just for this,” she said during her 10-minute wait in a line that stretched outside. “I just like that one burger a lot. It’s the cherry peppers.”
The SmokeShack, $8.49, with bacon, cheese and tangy red peppers, is smashed on the griddle in the New York-based chain’s signature method.
Shake Shack’s gray cubed building with bright green accents, at 18800 Alderwood Mall Parkway, has turned heads for weeks and generated social media buzz. Other Shake Shacks are in South Lake Union, University Village and Kirkland. A fifth is slated soon in Southcenter Mall.
Lynnwood’s drive-thru is the first in the state. Two lines of cars form a wide loop from the access road. Employees with tablets assist with orders in both lanes.
Inside is a hub of busy workers wearing black T-shirts with “Lost in the Shack Sauce” written on the back.
The decor is minimalist and monochromatic, with tall windows and wood-grain tables. “Stand for something good” in cursive neon graces a dark green wall.
The menu board above the order counter shines with food photos. Mango Passionade and Dragonfruit Pomegranate lemonades. Whipped cream topped shakes. Double SmokeShake. Veggie Shack.
Other food items include: Shroom Burger, a fried portobello mushroom with muenster and cheddar. ShackStack, a cheeseburger topped with a Shroom Burger. Chicken Shack. Crinkle-cut fries. Bacon and cheese fries. The list goes on.
A hot dog looked out of place on the menu.
But it’s there for a reason.
The original Shake Shack was a hot dog cart to support an art installation in Madison Square Park in New York City in 2004.
“We like to say we started with a cart,” said Lissa Hamilton, Shake Shack regional director of operations. “It is popping up all over.”
The company boasts 470 locations , including over 305 in 32 states and 165 internationally including London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo and Seoul.
The name stems from “Grease.” A carnival ride called Shake Shack is where John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John sing “You’re the One That I Want” in the 1978 musical.
Hamilton refers to Shake Shack as a dining “experience” for guests to gather inside or on the outdoor patio. Treats for dogs include a Bag O’ Bones, $8.09, and Pooch-ini bowl of frozen custard with biscuits, $4.29.
Shakes are part of the Shake Shack experience. Non-dairy options are available.
Figure $20 for a basic meal with the classic cheeseburger, $6.69, fries, $3.99, and shake, $5.99. Bacon and whipped cream are extra.
Daniel Seyler’s fudge brownie shake lasted through the meal and served as dessert after downing the cheeseburger.
“It was really good. I liked it a lot,” the Lynnwood boy said. He described the fries as “salted well.”
It was his first Shake Shack visit.
“I was just driving to Costco and he’s like, ‘I want to go there,’” said his dad, Josh. “The other son, the teenager, will definitely be making his way here.”
Portions are average-sized but ample.
“It was filling,” my bottomless-pit husband said of the ShackStack, $11.89. “And you know me.”
He also downed the bacon fries, $6.29 and 840 calories, then inquired where the shake in Shake Shack was. I’d brought him a carryout and feared a shake would melt, or I’d drink it all, by the time I got home. That’s a reason to go back.
I’ll also go back for another SmokeShack with those tangy red peppers, which I tried on the advice of Burns, the Kenmore woman.
Cherry peppers can be added to any burger for 50 cents.
Shake Shack is corporate owned and publicly traded as SHAK. Shares were going for about $63 on Monday, up 50% from the first of the year.
This is the second buzzy sandwich shack to open recently in Snohomish County.
Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken, which is franchised, opened Aug. 10 in Mukilteo with a menu crafted by the basketball giant.
Shake Shack hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Sunday.