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Hundreds welcome Steak ‘n Shake to Tempe

TEMPE, Ariz. — People are lining up for Steakburgers and milkshakes in Tempe.

Fast food chain Steak ‘n Shake opened its new location near Mill Avenue and University Drive on Thursday.

It is the Indianapolis-based chain’s first location in the state. General Manager Kirk O’Keefe said the company is expanding in the west.

“Arizona seemed to be the perfect spot,” O’Keefe said. “There’s so many people from the Midwest here that Steak N’ Shake already had a following.”

A lot of customers were excited about this morning’s opening.

“We had people starting to line up around 4:30 a.m.,” O’Keefe said. “By the time we unlocked the doors at 10 a.m., we had over 150 people in the line, which was going down the block.”

The first 100 customers got free Steak ‘n Shake meals for the next year.

By noon, the line had thinned out, but there was still at least a five-minute wait to get in. One of those in line was Jessica Austin, who was a regular Steak ‘n Shake customer when she lived in the Midwest.

“I’m very accustomed to Stake ‘n Shake. I love them,” Austin said. “I have a feeling it’s going to be just as good here. I’m really super-excited.”

O’Keefe said the company hopes to open other Arizona locations, but no deals have been finalized.