MTA: Shake Shack and Apple Will Open Shop at Grand Central

Monday, July 25, 2011

The hustle and bustle of Grand Central Terminal could be amplified in coming months if plans for a Shake Shack and an Apple Store are approved. The hustle and bustle of Grand Central Terminal could be amplified in coming months if plans for a Shake Shack and an Apple Store are approved. (Stuck in Customs/flickr)

Two stores known for their bites and bytes will soon be opening shop in Grand Central Terminal. On Monday, the Metro North Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) approved requests from Shake Shack and Apple to open up spaces at the station.

The transportation authority, which is the landlord at Grand Central, said it supported the move because it hoped to generate more rental income from its real estate. Both stores will also bring more foot traffic to the station.

Shake Shack will take over the space in the lower-level dining concourse currently held by Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant and bar. A queue along the Oyster Bar ramp will be maintained to accommodate crowds.

Zocalo had also submitted a proposal to renew its lease, but Shake Shack offered to pay more per year in rent.

The Apple store will open in the main concourse on the east balcony, where Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur is currently located, and on a vacant northeast balcony.

Although Metrazur’s lease was not set to expire until 2019, the restaurant failed to generate percentage rent — rent paid as a percentage of retail sales — prompting the MTA's real estate division to obtain a conditional surrender agreement in May and begin a search for a new tenant.

Apple also committed to paying a much higher rent on Metrazur's old space, according to the MTA.

Shake Shack, which already has six locations in NYC, including those at Madison Square Park and Citi Field — and it's also planning to open another spot at Fulton St. in Brooklyn — said it was looking forward to the move.

“As we expand Shake Shack we are looking to make our home in vibrant locations throughout New York City and beyond,” a Shake Shack representative told WNYC over e-mail. “Grand Central Terminal is a spectacularly beautiful historic landmark that serves as both a transportation hub and cultural point of interest for residents, commuters and tourists alike.”

The companies will go before the MTA's general board for a final vote of approval on Wednesday.


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Comments [3]


I am very depressed that Zocalo is closing. If I go downstairs to get what is affectionately known to Zocalo's patrons as a "frozen to go", a shake shack is not what I had in mind. No where else can you get an exceptionally GOOD frozen margarita along with a staff of the most curious and polite people for that long wait and/or journey home. Sometime it shouldn't be all about the money.

Jul. 26 2011 02:40 PM

isn't there a point, where the pedestrian saturation of a train terminal,in the service of retail establishments/"eateries",becomes counterproductive, to the main purpose of mass transit to begin with?

Jul. 26 2011 10:52 AM

too bad about Zocalo. They were one of the first to commit to space as the lower level was being renovated for re-use. the lesson for the consumer is, again, never count on any comforts or consistency within the NYC real estate universe.

Jul. 26 2011 10:00 AM

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