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Back in 1996, when bang! opened in northwest Denver, Highland was far from the hot dining destination it is today. But bang! didn't just start with a bang; it continues to do a bang-up business almost two decades later, even with a lot more competition in the neighborhood these days. It helps that bang! owns its building, a quirky space with a kitchen visible from the street and a back-door entrance at the end of a dark, narrow passageway that looks like a shortcut to the dumpster. Inside, tables are scattered throughout several small rooms, walls are painted shades of orange and green normally reserved for kids’ bedrooms, and the noise level is very high. It’s not cozy, but rather than seeming worn out, bang! simply seems well worn, like your mom’s favorite recipe cards. And many of the recipe cards here are very well used; such dishes as toasted sweet-potato bread, spicy gingerbread with whipped cream, and meatloaf have been on the menu from the get-go. The fried chicken is another favorite. “People flip out when you change things,” says co-owner Cissy Olderman. But when things are going as well as they do at bang!, why change?