Life is but a Burger

An open letter to Danny Meyer.

Alex Edge


Hello Mr. Meyer. I just finished reading the last pages of your book, “Setting The Table”. Your book was fantastic but Mr. Meyer, your book made me extremely hungry. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve been sitting here for the last 15 minutes looking at the cover of your book and dreaming of that beautiful cheese drenched Shake Shack double. There is one problem though. I live in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn and the closest Shake Shack is 40 minutes away not counting traffic. That’s hardly fair to me and the rest of the law abiding citizens of Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island and rest of Southern Brooklyn in general.

You see Danny, I can call you Danny right? Our area is basically the no man’s land of excellent burgers, frozen custard or anything else you so vividly describe in your book. Sure we have Roll n Roaster and Brennan & Carr, which are beef institutions, but let’s be honest they are no Shake Shake in the burger and custard department.

I am not sure why but my neighborhood is pilfered with hundreds of sushi joints, Turkish shish kebab eateries, and Russian dens filled with lavish French delicacies. Even though I am from the part of the world that enjoys a good plate of caviar, I am a simple fellow Danny. One who enjoys a great burger that’s cooked just right. A burger that’s served with a generous amount of fries, a perfect smidgen of sauce and a smile that’s ripped right out of the pages of your hunger inducing book.

I know, I know it’a risky proposition and you probably have a lot of hesitations for venturing so far down into no man’s land to build a Shake Shack. Let me put your mind at ease Danny. In fact let me give you 3 excellent reasons why a Shake Shake belongs in our area more than anywhere else.

  1. Coney Island. The same iconic Coney Island that has been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. As much as Coney Island recovered from the destruction, imagine the impact you can have on the community when you build the ultimate family destination for delicious food. The number of jobs such an enterprise would create. The amount of positive PR and feedback it can generate for your brand and the area in general.
  2. Frozen Custard. As I’m sure you know Danny, frozen custard was invented in Coney Island by two smart fellows, Archie and Elton Kohr. What better way to honor the memory of these two beautiful geniuses than by slinging frozen custard in the land of it’s forefathers.
  3. The Timing. Yes, Danny as you can tell by now I read your book carefully. The timing for this is perfect. Where 20 years ago something like this would never be possible, the amount of people who crave a better product in our area is huge. I see it every day. The sad sunk in faces of young couples consuming sushi. A family of four pretending to love a gyro. Come on. We all know a gyro doesn’t come close to the satisfaction of a burger.

I’m done for now. I hope I made a convincing enough argument Danny. As a bonus I can totally program the music in your new Shake Shack free of charge. I do that for a living you see and let’s be honest a tough neighborhood like Southern Brooklyn won’t be happy with that indie rock you guys pipe through the speakers up North.

Shake Shack’s biggest fan,

Alex Edge.