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Buns on the Run

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger

Lest we forget, the cheeseburger was invented here.

Or, if not exactly invented, at least conceived here. And if not conceived, at least patented -- which gives us the right to tell all those other people to fuck the hell off when they start claiming that the notion of slapping some cheese down on a piece of ground cow originated in whatever benighted, half-assed backwater they're from. We've got the paperwork (filed by local drive-in owner Louis Ballastin 1935) and we've got the plaque (at 2776 North Speer, the site of Ballast's old restaurant), so we win.

Denver might not have the best football team this year. We might be mocked by red-staters for being in such close proximity to Boulder and mocked by blue-staters for being a red state, and our chefs and restaurants might not get the kind of love they deserve from people who still think we have to check our coonskin caps at the door and keep cows as pets. But we are Burgertown, USA. No question.

And you gotta be proud of what you got.

Leftovers: When the Tattered Cover leaves Cherry Creek, it will close the book on the Fourth Story, too; the last day of service there should be some time in late May or June. And while I can't in good conscience say that I'm sad to see the restaurant go (too many bad meals, too much drama), its departure will open up one wicked space for a restaurateur with plenty of green.

It will also be a break for manager/executive chef Tim Opiel, who is looking at "officially retiring from the restaurant business" after 26 years in the industry. While the announcement of the Fourth Story's inevitable closure came "a lot quicker than what we'd anticipated," Opiel tells me, the restaurant plans to keep serving until the end. "We'd like to use this as a time to celebrate the ten years Fourth Story has been here," he adds.

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