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Shake Shack Is Adding Spicy Chicken Nuggets to Combat Declining Sales

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Plus, a crowdfunding campaign is live to help reopen Italian restaurant Via Della Pace — and more intel

Shake Shack chicken nuggets on a tray with dipping sauces
Spicier versions of Shake Shack’s chicken nuggets are in the works
Shake Shack [Official Photo]

Shake Shack pumps up its menu

Rattled by a recent dip in sales, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told investors during the company’s latest earnings report that the public chain plans to rectify the situation in part by adding more menu items that crowds can rally around, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. Garutti says the team is plotting to re-introduce the chain’s popular hot chicken sandwich to the restaurants, as well as new spin-off — hot chicken nuggets. Customers can also expect to see more milkshake flavors in a wider range of sizes, and more cold drinks on the menu.

Garutti also discussed adding more vegan and vegetarian items to the menu. Shake Shack has been selling a mushroom burger since 2004, and for a while, there was a lot of talk around a beet-based veggie burger that the culinary team was testing in a few locations, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. Now, Garutti says that the brand is testing another veggie burger at the West Village location. This version features 13 vegetables, herbs, and grains, according to the report in Nation’s Restaurant News.

Lower East Side coffee shop Round K hosts a pop-up from Cherry Point’s former chef

Chef Ed Szymanski — formerly of critically-acclaimed meat-focused restaurant Cherry Point in Brooklyn — has partnered with Patricia Howard, the director of operations for newly-opened Red Gate Bakery in the East Village, to launch Dame, an intimate restaurant pop-up taking place at Lower East Side coffee shop Round K.

The pair will be hosting a 10-seat dinner at Round K on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights in March. The meals feature modern versions of English food, including beef tartare and bottarga on toast, and duck offal skewers with grilled onions, that serve as previews to the menu at their upcoming permanent restaurant in the West Village. The permanent location is slated to open in September, according to Howard.

In other news

— A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help Via Della Pace, the East Village Italian restaurant that was severely damaged by a fire in early February, reopen for business. A friend of the owners started the campaign, which is aiming to raise $25,000 for the restaurant.

— Starting on March 2, Israeli chefs Loren Abramovitch and Daniel Soskolne are back at Chef’s Club for a reprise of their successful pop-up LEV, which first debuted at Chefs Club one year ago, and showcases Leventine cuisine, which is comprised of flavors native to the eastern region of the Mediterranean. Aside from the pop-up, a press representative for the pair tells Eater that Abramovitch and Soskolne have plans to open up a permanent location of LEV by the end of 2020.

— Grub Street’s restaurant critic Adam Platt says that Stephen Starr’s newest venture, Verōnika, is kind of all over the map.

Vanity Fair published a profile of chef Daniel Humm in this new, solo phase of his career, after his high-profile split from restaurateur Will Guidara. Somehow, it lightly questioned the future of fine dining and making the field more equitable for chefs who are not white and male while also... never actually questioning Humm’s position of power as a white, male chef operating in the highest reaches of fine dining?

— Upper West Side Turkish restaurant 8th Hill was robbed last week. The burglar stole $14,000 worth of top-shelf liquor and other items from the restaurant.

— People are traveling from as far away as Virginia to spend a Saturday sampling dozens of regional cuisines found within the Indonesian archipelago at the Indonesian Food Bazaar, which pops up inside the St. James Episcopal Church, at 84-07 Broadway, in Elmhurst, Queens, once a month.

Greenpoint’s Original Pizza is opening on Saturday at the old Carmine’s Original Pizza spot at 93 Norman Avenue, between Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue, in Greenpoint.

— Sir Paul McCartney has been spotted strolling down Main Street in Metuchen, New Jersey.

— A universal experience (h/t @helenr):

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