The sign for the new Steak 'n Shake replacing Burger King in the Student Union. It'll take over Burger King's 10-year spot Friday, Jun. 30 with a selection of steakburgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes.
It’s time to say goodbye to Burger King and hello to the new Steak ‘n Shake set to replace it this year.
Situated in the Student Union Memorial Center, Steak ‘n Shake will have a five-year initial term with the university, according to Mari John, assistant director of retail & contract management for the Administration & Business Office.
The burger joint, with a menu featuring a wide variety of steakburgers, foot-long hot dogs, fries and milkshakes will be the first in Tucson, and only the second Steak ‘n Shake in all of Arizona besides a Phoenix location on Mill Avenue, according to the Steak ‘n Shake website’s store locator.
Blaire Krakowitz, a sophomore studying English who has worked in the SUMC’s On Deck Deli for a year, said customers seemed curious about what was happening to the Burger King.
“I was surprised to see it close down,” she said. “But I suppose it makes sense. It was never very busy — far less than I would have expected it to be.”
If it has a successful run, Steak ‘n Shake’s initial five-year term with the university could be extended.
“It will have an option to renew for an additional five years upon mutual agreement between them and the university,” John said. “So they could potentially be here for ten years as well.”
Political science sophomore Alec Scott said he’s excited for the new Steak ‘n Shake.
“Especially considering I have family in St. Louis ... every time I visit them I enjoy getting a steak burger,” he said. “The only other Steak ‘n Shake is in Phoenix, and while it is a good restaurant, a two-hour long drive is a pretty high cost for a burger and fries.”
According to John, all third-party tenants for the SUMC are selected by a committee that evaluates the proposals submitted by interested vendors through the university’s Request for Proposal process. The same process was used to select the union’s Burger King.