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Steak ‘n Shake to open its first Chicago restaurant

Steak n Shake burger and fries

Steak 'n Shake's first Chicago restaurant is set to open Thursday, Sept. 20, near the University of Illinois at Chicago's campus. | Steak 'n Shake via Facebook

City dwellers will no longer have to venture to the suburbs for their Steak ‘n Shake fix.

Steak ‘n Shake’s first Chicago restaurant is set to open Thursday, Sept. 20, at 1322 S. Halsted St., near the University of Illinois at Chicago’s campus. The location was chosen because of its proximity to college students, Steak ‘n Shake said.

“Chicago is a great city and we have done well in the suburbs, so it only makes sense to have a location in the downtown area,” said Melvin Buckley, the owner of the franchise. Other city-center locations include Indianapolis, Seattle and Las Vegas.

Unlike the suburban restaurants, the University Village spot will serve beer and wine, and not all regular menu items will be available there, Buckley said. It will be the first “counter service setup” where guests can order and then pick up their food at the counter, instead of being waited on.

“It is definitely more conducive to the fast-paced life of those living and working in the downtown area, but still the same Steak ‘n Shake you know and love,” said Buckley.

The restaurant will be smaller than other Steak ‘n Shakes at 1,500 square feet, and will have a drive-up window, Buckley said.

Steak ‘n Shake — which started in downstate Normal in 1934 — is now based in Indianapolis.