Steak ‘n Shake, the fast-food chain many University of Illinois transplants are familiar with from their days in Champaign, is planning to open its first Chicago location. While the Indianapolis-based chain has restaurants in the surrounding suburbs, it hasn’t opened within the city’s limits. An opening timeframe hasn’t been shared, but Steak ‘n Shake is interested in the former Jamba Juice space at 1322 S. Halsted Street.
The chain has more than 540 locations across 31 states and was founded 83 years ago in downstate Normal. The insides feature a retro diner design and the burgers are smashed and fried on a griddle. The restaurant’s motto is “famous for steakburgers.” The patties are fresh, but the blend isn’t ground on site.
The sandwiches are served on plates for dine-in customers, and typically there’s a drive-thru component. The University Village location does not have room for a drive-thru.
Famed film critic Roger Ebert was among the chain’s fans. The esteemed writer fell in love with the burgers while a U of I student.
Alderman (11th Ward) Patrick Thompson made the announcement via Facebook. His office said the alderman will meet with Steak ‘n Shake officials in the coming weeks to better figure out an opening timeframe. Chicago first noticed Thompson’s post.