For its Brooklyn debut, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack empire has taken over an interesting building on the far western end of ugly Fulton Mall. It's a polygon-shaped, two-story structure bordered by Fulton, Peal and Willoughby. It used to contain a terrible pizza joint and still does have a dentist's office with a big red sign on the second floor.
The building has a look of obvious age, with its ornate wooden cornice and layered and patterned brick. It's interesting to peek in at its ancient shell now that Meyer and Co. have gutted the place—the brickwork, pillars and pipes.
Moses Straus, a jeweler, occupied the space for a number of decades on either side of the turn of the 20th century. The Strauses were well off. Son Abram, lived on Madison Avenue and had a chauffeured car that was pulled over in 1907 for exceeding the speed limit.