The restaurant overlooking Crystal Cove State Beach closed in early February for a major remodel, which included adding a restroom, a bigger dining deck, painting the building the original yellow and renovating the kitchen to allow menu additions like burgers and fries.
Doug Cavanaugh, founder of Ruby’s, which owns the Shake Shack, parked his 1954 Cadillac in front of the restaurant and sipped a date shake as he waited for his mother, Ruby, to arrive for the party.
“I used to sneak into Crystal Cove as a kid,” he said. “And I’ve always been a date shake fan. I haven’t had one in a long time.”
The famous date shake remains on the menu, along with a few formerly off-menu items like the Monkey Flip shake which has chocolate, peanut butter, banana and dates.
About 120 guests were invited to attend the opening party, sampling menu items and enjoying the sunny beach weather.
“I think this is better,” said Annika Rosten, 13, as she drank a malt and waited for sweet potato fries to be delivered to her table. (During dinner, diners will place orders at the Shake Shack window, and servers will deliver meals to their tables — another change, said Kimberly Myers, vice president of marketing for Ruby’s.)
“It looks better,” said Liz Hiles, also 13. “It’s more inviting.”