Bethany Clough

Steak ’n Shake coming to Fresno, cult following expected to freak out

Fresno is getting the Valley’s first Steak ‘n Shake.

The chain is hugely popular in the Midwest and other parts of the country, with many media outlets describing the restaurant as having a cult following.

The Steak ‘n Shake is under construction on Kings Canyon Road in front of the Walmart Supercenter near Peach Avenue. A Del Taco is also being built on the site just west of the Steak ‘n Shake.

Fresnans have been wondering for weeks what businesses are going to open at the spot.

It’s not clear when Steak ‘n Shake will open, but Fresnans will have to wait a few weeks or more. Construction workers say they expect to be finished in early November and then Steak ‘n Shake will begin work on the interior of the building. The owner/developer did not immediately return calls for comment regarding an opening date.

The restaurant is essentially a burger and milk shake fast food place with a retro vibe. The steak in Steak ‘n Shake comes from what the company used to call “steakburgers.” The name comes from decades ago when the founder reportedly wheeled a barrel full of steaks – round, sirloin, and T-bone – in front of customers and ground the meat right there to make a point about quality. Steak is not on the menu.

The restaurant sells classic burgers and specialty burgers, including a Philly cheese burger, bacon lovers burger and jalapeno crunch burger, made with guacamole and French’s French Fried Onions. It also serves sandwiches, salads and hot dogs smothered in toppings.

Steak ‘n Shake is also known for its milk shakes, which include classic flavors and “side by side” flavors – such as “strawnilla,” a combination of strawberry and vanilla. Specialty shakes include a pumpkin spice milk hake, Nutella and birthday cake flavors.

The restaurant also serves breakfast.

Both Steak ‘n Shake and Del Taco will have drive-thrus and a screen will shield customers’ headlights from shining into the eyes of drivers on Kings Canyon.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough