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‘Shake Shack Is a Go’ — to Open This Fall

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Update, 8:51 p.m., Thursday and 6:12 a.m., Friday:

David Genovese, principal of Baywater Properties LLC, an affiliate of which owns the site where Shake Shack will be built, announced that the restaurant has agreed to come to Darien:
Shake Shack is a go. We expect to file for building permit next week, to begin construction later this month or in early July and to open the restaurant in the fall. Construction is estimated to take 4 months. In a comment on’s Facebook timeline, Genovese discussed some of the reasons why getting the Shake Shack proposal approved was difficult:

“This took us a lot more time than we expected, and cost substantially more than we thought it would. We did not prove to the satisfaction of the ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals] at the first hearing that there was a hardship.

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Shake Shack Now Faces Higher Hurdle in Darien, Even as P&Z Approves Application

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Shake Shack’s application to open a restaurant on the Post Road received unanimous approval from the Darien Planning & Zoning Commission Tuesday, but the major hurdle before another crucial town board recently got higher. The P&Z voted unanimously to approve the restaurant’s application to open a restaurant at 1340 Post Road, the former site of Chuck’s Steak House. But a major sticking point with town land-use officials over the restaurant’s application has always been the larger signs that Shake Shack wants — bigger than what town regulations currently allow. The largest proposed sign would be 22 inches high; town regulations now set the maximum at 10 inches. That argument is before the Zoning Board of Appeals, which recently hired a consultant to do a “peer review” on the signage proposed in Shake Shack’s most recent application.

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Shake Shack is Back Before Zoning Board of Appeals with a New Application

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Shake Shack is back before the Darien Zoning Board of Appeals with a new request to get approval for signs larger than the town zoning regulations currently allow. The reapplication has new arguments to justify signage slightly smaller than what the ZBA rejected in the original application for a zoning variance. The new application has a statement from a signage expert who writes that at least some of the signs need to be large enough for passing drivers to read from a safe distance before the driver decides to turn into the parking lot of the restaurant. What They’re Requesting

Other changes in the application are a reduction in the height of the front sign (Sign #1) by 2 inches (from 24 inches high to 22), moving the burger logo from spots near the top of the building walls down to where the signs are and removing a band of words from the building. Here’s what Shake Shack is asking the town to allow as variances from zoning regulations:

A sign on the southwest side of the building would remain at 15 inches high and
Putting the sign on the edge of the canopy on an angle from the side wall (from 8 feet, 8 inches to 10 feet, 6 inches away from the wall) instead of within 12 inches of the wall.

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For Shake Shack in Darien: Wheels Are Turning, Proposal May Be Revived

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Developer David Genovese said at a public meeting Wednesday night that he and others are trying to work out a way for Shake Shack to reapply to town land-use officials for a permit to open at 1340 Post Road. “We’re back in conversations with Shake Shack, and we’re working on a compromise,” Genovese said at a meeting sponsored by Darien Library about a separate, much bigger proposal that Genovese’s Baywater Properties and Penny Glassmeyer’s PG Properties are proposing — the redevelopment of a large swath of downtown Darien along Corbin Drive and the Post Road. Shake Shack came up when Genovese opened the floor to questions. About 225 people packed the Community Room of the library to hear more about the redevelopment proposal. “We’re back in a dialogue, and we’re hoping to reapply in the next couple of days,” Genovese said.

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Is There Still Hope for Shake Shack Coming to Darien? Maybe.

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Shake Shack has walked away from their application to site a store at 1340 Post Road in Darien after deciding there was too much resistance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to their proposed 24-inch-high signs —but there may still be a possibility they’ll return. Here are two signs of hope:

1. There’s a lot of interest in town
First, the restaurant’s bid to open a store in Darien is of huge interest in town. Take a look at the number of Facebook “recommends” for’s original article about the restaurant chain’s decision to withdraw it’s Darien bid:

That 464 “recommends” is as large a number as any story has had.’s Web page for the article has garnered more than 2,800 unique visitors since it was published Thursday morning, and readers are still flocking to the story.

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Both Shake Shack Applicants, Zoning Board Say the Other Side Wasn’t Cooperative

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Gary Greene, chairman of the Darien Zoning Board of Appeals, said he and the board didn’t feel they had a choice but deny Shake Shack a variance Wednesday night. David Genovese, a developer working with Shake Shack to get a restaurant on his Post Road property, said Shake Shack officials didn’t feel they could make any more changes in their signage to get a variance. What zoning officials said

The ZBA needed Shake Shack to make a case that its 24-inch-high name sign was necessary and its hamburger image was central to its branding, and that the way the sign was lit would not look too “glaring” with light coming from the side, said Robert Woodside, a code compliance officer in the Planning & Zoning Department who was at the meeting to assist the Board on Wednesday night. The board offered to postpone its decision if Shake Shack would show them a live mock up of the sign or something similar to it so the board could see how it would look, but the company declined, Greene said. __________

See also:

Is There Still Hope for Shake Shack Coming to Darien?

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GONE? Genovese: After Zoning Board Denies Sign Request, ‘Shake Shack Walked Away’

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Shake Shack “walked away” after the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night denied the company’s request for larger signs at its proposed location on the Post Road, developer David Genovese said. “[T]he Zoning Board of Appeals denied our application tonight for Shake Shack’s signage program,” Genovese said in an email late Wednesday night, after the board meeting. Shake Shack was on the agenda for a public hearing to get a zoning variance for a Post Road site. Genovese is principal of Baywater Properties LLC and owner of the site through a related company. “Shake Shack walked away,” Genovese continued.