The area’s first Steak ’n Shake, off Jimmie Dyess Parkway, is opening its doors at 10 a.m. Thursday.
“We’ve actually had people talking about camping out to be the first guests,” said the restaurant’s general manager, Mike Mulherin.
Mulherin has asked that four Columbia County sheriff’s deputies direct vehicles into the restaurant during the grand opening. He expects snarled traffic on Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Belair Frontage Road near Interstate 20.
“We’ve had over 6,000 hits on Facebook,” he said. “The excitement level has just been phenomenal.”
Construction on the Steak ’n Shake started in June. Since August, 130 employees have been hired. They finished their last day of training Tuesday, Mulherin said.
Steak ’n Shake will be open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.
until the first of the year, when the hours change to 24/7.
For the first two or three weeks, the restaurant will not offer carry-out service so employees can focus on customers dining in and ordering in the drive-through line, Mulherin said.
The 3,300-square-foot restaurant can accommodate 99 customers in the dining room, he said.
The restaurant is known for its steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. The menu also includes breakfast items, chili, burger melts, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
Steak ’n Shake has nearly 500 restaurants in 22 states. The closest to Augusta have been in Atlanta, Macon and Statesboro, Ga.
Buzz about the restaurant has continued to grow as work neared completion.
“Just trying to keep people off the lot has been a tremendous effort during the construction,” Mulherin said. “We’ve got people removing the cones on the entranceway to come in.
“The community is definitely ready to come in.”