David Pellegrin and his wife, Rebekah Donovan Pellegrin, concede that Denver has nearly as many burger barns as Colorado has cattle, but Eco-Burger, their new Cherry Creek North burger joint taking up residence in the former Soleil Mediterranean Grill space (which the couple owned and closed in March) at 2817 East Third Avenue, isn't your ubiquitous cattle call.
According to David and Rebekah, who also own Q Worldly Barbecue, Eco-Burger is a dream that started 26 years ago when Pellegrin got his first kitchen job lobbing burgers between buns at Kopp's Frozen Custard in Wisconsin. "I've always wanted to have a burger place, and over the last six years, I've been thinking about it much more seriously, and with the economy the way it is, now seemed like a good time to make it happen," says David. "It's part passion and part of what's working right now," echoes Rebekah.
When Eco-Burger opens on Wednesday, June 2, it'll serve "morally delicious" burgers, says the couple, made with beef from 100 percent grassfed cows from Kansas. "Part of our concept is using purely grassfed beef for health, humane and environmental reasons," explains Rebekah. The other part, she says, is using all compostable packaging, as many organic products as possible, low-energy lighting, wind and solar-powered energy and sustainable building materials and furniture, including beetle kill pine and recycled glass. The couple also have plans to build an aesthetic hydroponic garden flush with lettuces, tomatoes and herbs -- but "we won't have a magic burger," jokes David.
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Instead the menu is a short board of big and little beef burgers that you can wrap with prosciutto or leaf lettuce, smother with housemade "secret" sauce, smoked blue cheese or organic cheddar. There's also a black bean burger, a seared tuna burger, salads, fries flecked with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and plenty of sugar highs, including malts and shakes buzzed with flavors from Boulder Ice Cream. "We're not relying on the eco-marketing to make us successful," stresses Rebekah. "We know the food has to be good."
The quick-service, "family friendly" feedlot, which offers counter service only, will also pour brews from Boulder Beer, New Belgium and O'Dell's, plus alcoholic Hawaiian punch.
Eco-Burger will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.