Shake Shack Harlem Opened at 1 West 125th Street




Shake Shack Harlem with Facade painted by Creative Art Works. Image taken May 4, 2019

Shake Shack Harlem moved into the old Applebee’s space located at 1 West 125th Street, on the north/west corner across from the National Black Theatre ~ and at the entrance to East Harlem, which is preparing for a number of new projects including the Second Avenue Subway. 

The spectacular opening unveiled artwork by eleven Harlem students, creating murals through a partnership with Creative Art Works inside ~ with exterior artwork currently underway.

Below is a sneak peek from beginning to end, including an update on Creative Art Works outside.

Above, initial rendering of Shake Shack Harlem, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 125th Street, including outdoor seating.

december 11 2018

125th Street marks Shake Shack’s second location in Upper Manhattan, joining the Morningside Heights location, former home of Ollies. The menu will feature all our favorite ‘Shack Classics’ ~ ShackBurger, crinkle-cut fries and hand-spun shakes, plus a fabulous selection from local purveyors including Pie Oh My from Lady Lexis Sweets, and local brews from Harlem Brewing Company, The Bronx Brewery and Brooklyn Brewery. Five percent of proceeds from the Harlem Shack’s Pie Oh My concrete, along with all proceeds from the Harlem Shack’s Soft Opening, will benefit Harlem Grown.

Valerie, (PR) along with Valerie Hallier, Michael Mitchell from Creative Art Works

The new 3,754-foot Harlem Shake Shack will feature a large outdoor patio, using green architecture and eco-friendly construction with recycled and sustainable materials. Booths will be made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and table tops will be made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes!

Students working under the guidance of Creative Art Works

We were invited to meet the artists, eleven Harlem students, creating the murals, inside and out, through a partnership with Creative Art Works.  Working with teaching artists’ Valerie Hallier and Michael Mitchell, the students set out to create murals that would reflect Harlem’s rich culture ~ sights and sounds, music and dance, on the streets and in the parks. Calling themselves ‘Team Double Vision’, here they are, putting on the finishing touches for the interior murals.

Students putting on finishing touches, December 15, 2018

Creative Art Works is no stranger to Harlem, having recently worked on a division of a project that we’ve been following for several years ~ Gitler & ___ The Audubon Mural Project.  Creative Art Works added seven murals to New York City parks, focusing on endangered birds and climate change. (Stay tuned for Gitler & __ in partnership with Broadway Mall Association for the Audubon Sculpture Project in April 2019). Creative Art Works was also part of the MonumentArt Project 2015 in East Harlem and the Bronx.

Team Double Vision including teaching artists Michael Mitchell and Valerie Hallier (last two)
Closeup of the back wall
Students at work
Images of exterior murals

Images above and below were originally worked out as pencil sketches by the students, portraits of themselves (checkout the hair!), music, dance, parks ~ Harlem through their lens ~ in color ~ and this will wrap around the front and side of the exterior part of the building. The two square images below will be positioned in the front part of the interior space.

Images of two remaining murals for the interior space
Valerie Hallier & Michael Mitchell from Creative Art Works

We caught ‘Team Double Vision‘ ~ the Harlem students working in partnership with Creative Art Works, working on the facade on a sunny April day. Check out a few images below.

May 4, 2019

Creative Art Works on the 125th Street, Entrance side


Creative Art Works


Fifth Avenue side of Shake Shack Harlem, artwork by Creative Art Works


Closeup of the Fifth Avenue side, artwork by Creative Art Works


Shake Shack Harlem with Facade painted by Creative Art Works. Image taken May 4, 2019

April 27, 2019

Today, adding a splash of color!

April 24, 2019

april 24 2019
april 24 2019
april 24 2019


April 23, 2019

On the Fifth Avenue side, April 23, 2019
Lots to do! but a beautiful day to do it ~ April 23, 2019
On the West 125th Street side, April 23, 2019
West 125th Street side, April 23, 2019

Follow Creative Art Works on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram


Scroll down to view the project from the beginning…..but now, for the pre-opening par~tay with Vy Higginsen’s Gospel Teens, Stormin Norman, and all your favorite people, including Danny Meyer ~ Monday, December 17, 2018

Vy Higginsen & her Gospel Teens! Woooo ~ what a way to have a party

As always, the Gospel Teens blew the roof off!

Vy Higgensen & the Gospel Teens

Mountains of burgers, fries, chicken, beer & desert too! (Lexis of Lady Lexis Sweets was there)

Different kinds of burgers, fries, chicken, desert…….


pre opening party dec 17 2018

Stormin Norman……’nuff said

Stormin Norman!

Below, some of the Harlem art students from Creative Art Works sitting in front of their artwork along with teaching artists Michael Mitchell and Valerie Hallier on either end.

Creative Art Works with Valerie Hallier at one end and Michael Mitchell at the other end

Below, the finished artwork along the back walls of the new Shake Shack Harlem. The exterior banner will go up in the Spring.

Closer look at the finished artwork


Have something to say?

Have something to say? Here’s the wall to do just that ~ lots of welcoming notes.


Yes ~ there is a Take-Out counter

And near the door, a take-out counter (above).

Pre-opening party, Monday, December 17, 2018


And below ~ from beginning to December 18, 2018 when the doors opened

December 5, 2018
December 5, 2018


August 25, 2018

Boarded up ~ August 25, 2018

As of November 10, 2018, most of the green drywall is down and doors and windows are visible (see below)

Drywall down. Image taken November 10, 2018 – along Fifth Avenue, north side of 125th Street
With most of the green drywall down, we have a view of the new Shake Shack in its entirety along 125th Street and Fifth Avenue

November 29, 2018 (below)

We doubt that the completion date will be the end of November (tomorrow), but a quick peek inside was impressive, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Shake Shack Harlem opens before year’s end.

November 29, 2018
November 29, 2018

The two-story, 1 West 125th Street was acquired by Circle Capital F, a family-owned Manhattan firm, in 2008 for $15 million.  The location places Shake Shack in-between two major subway lines, one block west of the Metro North Station, and one short block from the very busy Marcus Garvey Park and Richard Rodgers Amphitheater ~ with Jazzmobile, Summer Stage, Classical Theatre of Harlem performances, swimming pool, and a plethora of art installations, to name just a few of the revolving events and activities.

rendering of exterior view courtesy of Shake Shack

This stretch of 125th Street has seen a whirlwind of change, with the opening of the Bed, Bath & Beyond/WeWork/TJ Max complex just a few doors down, and the recent sale of 54-62 West 125th Street, where plans have been filed for a 17-story, 113,000+ square-foot building.

Those looking in from the outside speculate on the impact Shake Shack might have on local Harlem Burger spots ~ but location….location….. Harlemites do tend to stick close to home ~ Eighth Avenue with its plethora of eateries; Lenox Avenue and its surrounding historic district also has wonderful and popular eateries; the East Harlem MetroNorth location, where Shake Shack will open is several neighborhoods away from the wonderful local hot restaurants and burger spots heading down Lexington Avenue.

rendering of outdoor space along the Fifth Ave side, courtesy of Shake Shack ~ Ouuuu, do we look forward to this!

Per Crain’s, there are several other projects in the works on West 125th Street between Fifth Avenue and Lenox Avenue.  Heading East, an equal number of projects in the works.


2 thoughts on “Shake Shack Harlem Opened at 1 West 125th Street

  1. A Jazzy village and now a Jazzy burger spot. “what a great Gig” Peace and Light, Jay Bird

Comments are closed.