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Shake Shack coming to Midtown Tampa

It will be the popular burger chain’s first restaurant in the Tampa Bay area and is targeted to open in time for the Super Bowl in February 2021.

TAMPA — About a year from now, crowds could start queuing up for burgers, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard at the Tampa Bay area’s first Shake Shack, which is coming to the Midtown Tampa development.

“An iconic brand with worldwide recognition," said Nicholas Haines, chief executive officer of the Bromley Companies, which is developing the $550 million Midtown Tampa project. "We’ve followed Shake Shack from its first location next to our office in New York’s Madison Square Park, and appreciate the delight and appeal it has to its customers.”

20 years in the making, Midtown Tampa is poised to begin a flurry of construction

Shake Shack launched as a kiosk in the park in 2004 and now has more than 170 locations. It features Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches with no added hormones or antibiotics, griddled flat-top dogs, frozen custard and crispy fries.

“I know they’ve been looking at Tampa for a number of years to try to find the right spot that felt urban and dynamic and could be really successful,” Haines said Wednesday.

At Midtown Tampa, the restaurant will occupy 3,200 square feet on the east side of Midtown’s entrance off Cypress Street. On the west side will be a new restaurant by chef Chris Ponte, known for Café Ponte in Clearwater and On Swann in South Tampa.

Midtown Tampa has multiple buildings under construction on 22 acres near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway and is on schedule to open for the Super Bowl in February 2021, Haines said. Plans include the Tampa Bay area’s first store by specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op, as well as the region’s largest Whole Foods Market, a seven-story office building, 400 apartments, and a dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel.

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Midtown Tampa developers have put a premium on bringing first-in-the-market stores and restaurants to the project. Along with Shake Shack and Ponte’s new restaurant, that list includes the Oprah Winfrey-backed True Food Kitchen and Burtons Bar & Grill, with three, maybe four more to be announced, Haines said.

“The great thing about Shake Shack is they really appeal to everyone,” he said, “and they appeal to all times of the day, too.”