Looks like it’s really going to happen—Shake Shack says they’re getting ready to open

It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like Shake Shack is really getting ready to open in part of the former GAP space at 74 Central St., in Wellesley Square. As first reported by The Swellesley Report back in October 2022, the popular fast food restaurant, known for its burgers and shakes, said they were eyeing a 2024 opening.

Shake Shack, Wellesley

On social media today they put out a call for “high energy positive individuals with a passion for food and hospitality” ages 16 years or older. Latest word from the company for an opening date is end of May. So not too far beyond their original projection. Anyone who’s so much as renovated a powder room knows that construction can sometimes take a little longer than expected.

When we drove by today, crisp black awnings were being put in place by a work crew. When the awnings go up, you know things are getting serious.

Linear Retail, which owns about 40% of commercial properties on Central Street, has divvied up that 16,000 sq. ft. space with the goal of getting a couple of restaurants in there.

Shake Shack got its start as a hot dog cart in New York City, and established its first kiosk in 2004. There are a few hundred Shake Shacks around the world, including about a dozen in Massachusetts, such as in Boston, Cambridge, Dedham and Chestnut Hill.

Other Wellesley restaurants news

Newest restaurant in town: Playa Bowls, Linden Square. Opened February 2024. The superfruit bowl shop offers acai, pitaya, green and other bowls, plus juices, smoothies, oatmeal and more.

Most recently closed restaurant: Crepeberry, 352 Washington St. across from the Wellesley Hills train station. Served accessible vegetarian fare since 2017.

Coming spring 2024: Pho Station will slide into the former Crepeberry spot. The family-owned restaurant will offer Vietnamese food prepared by the co-owner-chef. Beef pho, lemongrass chicken sandwiches, and beef sandwiches are among planned menu items, along with avocado shakes, spring rolls, and more.

Coming soon: Karma in Linden Square, which boasts of sushi featuring “a cross between Japanese flavors and the delicate sauces and styles of France” being its speciality. The target opening is 2024.

Celebrating 30 years in town: Wellesley Bakery and Cafe, 542 Washington St., Wellesley Square. This much-loved 12-seat cafe serves baked goods (croissants, cookies, muffins, scones), soups, sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

Where to Eat in Wellesley—over 50 dining options