Burger chain makes ground as it ventures into Cardiff

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 28:  A sign hangs outside of a Shake Shack restaurant on January 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The burger chain, with currently has 63 locations, is expected to go public this week with an IPO priced between $17 to $19 a share. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SHAK. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

American burger group Shake Shack confirmed this week that Cardiff will be the location for its first UK site outside of London.

The company has been tipped for a Welsh opening for the last few months and finally confirmed what onlookers were expecting by revealing it has secured space in St David’s shopping centre.

The Cardiff restaurant will open later this year, around the same time that it adds a third store in London in New Oxford Street. It already has outlets in Covent Garden, which it opened two years ago and Westfield Stratford City, which began trading earlier this year.

The two new sites will feature architecture familiar to fans of its business in the US and other markets.

Nigel Sherwood, business director of Shake Shack UK, said: “This winter we’re bringing two incredible new Shacks to two very different, but very fitting spots in the UK. We plan to ensure that not only is each Shack engrained in its community but also becomes a true gathering spot. As we grow, we will continue to look for outstanding opportunities in major cities.”

Sherwood said the two new openings reinforced Shake Shack’s ambitions to expand its business this side of the Atlantic.

“This is an extremely exciting time for us at Shake Shack, particularly as we deepen our connection to the UK,” he added.

Shake Shack sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation. The cart was quite the success and in 2004 the bid was won to open a permanent kiosk in the park, leading to the creation of the company’s first site.

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