Steak ‘n Shake to open this year at Texas Union

Claire Bills

Right now, students can get salads, American Chinese food, chicken, tacos and sandwiches in the Texas Union Building. But soon, they’ll be able to access another food option: Steak ‘n Shake.

While an official opening date has not yet been set, the location is currently being renovated and is scheduled to open before the end of the fall semester. The restaurant will serve core menu items such as Steakburgers, fries and milkshakes.

Shane Norman, director of business development for Steak ‘n Shake, said he worked on developing the location and was excited about the opportunity to open a location at the University. 

“The University of Texas is one of the most prestigious and large institutions in the country … so we definitely had our eyes on it,” Norman said. “We thought we would be a good fit.”

The 85-year-old business opened its first college campus location at Western Kentucky University in 2014, Norman said. Since then, Steak ‘n Shake has continued to work with Aramark, a food service provider, to open more campus restaurants.

James Buckley, director of facilities and operations for University Unions, said he is hopeful the UT community will respond favorably to the location. He said it will provide similar food options as the Wendy’s that previously occupied the space and closed in summer 2018. 

“They have milkshakes and different items on their menu that should appeal to students, as well as to faculty and staff,” Buckley said. “I think it’s hard not to be successful when you’re on a campus like this.”

Daniel Sosa, an electrical and computer engineering sophomore, said he is really excited for the restaurant to come to campus after trying Steak ‘n Shake earlier in the year.

“Having (a Steak ‘n Shake) on campus is going to be so much more convenient,” Sosa said in a direct message. “My friends and I have already made plans to go together as soon as it opens.”

Norman said he is eager to see the finished project, and he believes it will be a new and different addition to the Union.

“I’ve been able to take over spaces like this … where it’s kind of old and tired,” Norman said. “We’re a known brand, but it’s fresh in this space. It’s really a way to put the brand in front of a new audience, as well as customers that have grown up loving it.”