A burger chain has announced an opening date for its new restaurant in Cornmarket in Oxford.

American company Shake Shack will open the three-floor gourmet burger diner on the site of the former Pandora jewellers before Christmas.

Shake Shack began as a small hot dog stand operating out of Madison Square Park in New York City in 2001 and grew into a gourmet fast-casual restaurant with more than 377 locations worldwide.

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There are 15 Shake Shacks in London and another branch in Cardiff.

The new restaurant in Cornmarket will open on Monday, December 18, with the menu featuring burgers, fries, hotdogs, beers and shakes.

Oxford Mail: A diner at Shake Shack
The company has been working with illustrator and muralist Ellie Fryer on a "unique illustration" for the building's exterior. 

Shake Shack said earlier: "Incorporating some of Shake Shack’s signature menu items with an ‘olden’ twist, the artworks focus on bringing to life the stories, legends and cultural heritage of an Oxford past."

The opening of the new restaurant will give a boost to Cornmarket which has suffered from a number of empty units.

One of those units was occupied by Burger King on the opposite side of the street.

Oxford Mail: The Ellie Fryer muralIt closed for good in January shortly after being awarded a one-star food hygiene rating.

Shake Shack says on its website: "When Shake Shack started as a hot dog cart in New York City's Madison Square Park, our mission was simple: raise funds for a public art project.

"As we grew into a global business, our mission to Stand For Something Good expanded to include taking care of our team, sourcing premium ingredients from partners with the same dedication to quality, designing our Shacks responsibly, supporting our communities through donations, events, and volunteering—and much more.

"Doing good is in our roots, a part of our DNA since day one. 20 years later, we're still continuing to expand and evolve our mission to Stand For Something Good in everything we do." 

Oxford Mail: Shake Shack will have to compete for a healthy portion of the city' burger market.

There is a Five Guys in Magdalen Street, and a Wendy's, and in George Street Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Glut also serve burgers.

There are about 460 sites around the globe trading under the Shake Shack brand, with about 260 of them in the United States.

The former branch of NatWest on the corner of George Street and Cornmarket remains empty.

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But The Store hotel, on the site of the former Boswells department store, is expected to open in the spring.

Contractors working for owners Reef Group have faced a number of technical issues which has delayed the opening.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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