Things just keep getting better for Biker Jim, aka Jim "the wiener wonder dog" Pittenger, who's already spoiled us with the city's best hot dogs, originally fleshed out from a stainless steel cart on the 16th Street Mall. Over the past several years, however, Jim has introduced exotic sausage seekers to several more Biker Jim carts, and in late February or early March, he'll open his first brick-and-mortar at 2148 Larimer Street.
And sometime between March and April, he'll join Street Kitchen Asian Bistro, Russo's and a second Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria at the Vallagio at Inverness, a retail and residence development project spearheaded by Peter Kudla, COO of Metropolitan Homes.
Specifically, says Jim, he's taking over the Silver Spoon, a 35-foot airstream trailer that began breeding burgers and fries late last summer from a graveled lot just adjacent to the restaurants and retailers quickly snapping up space in the lofty Vallagio, whose location, insists Kudla, is not in the suburbs, but in "midtown," thanks to its "urban" feel.
Technically, it's in Englewood, an area whose residents, notes Jim, just might want an elk, pheasant or reindeer sausage when the mood hits, especially since he's offering the bonuses of delivery and curbside service. "This is a simple, easy and inexpensive way of testing the market out here, and I think that what we're doing will be a big draw," says Jim, adding that if "midtowners" flock to his dogs like the urbanites do in Denver, then the next likely step will be a 5,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar in one of the few vacant Vallagio pods. "The airstream trailer is a sort of a hybrid between a restaurant and a cart, but the whole goal is to build a second Biker Jim's," he says.
When the airstream trailer gets up and cooking, it'll have a fryer, grill, griddle and steam table -- all leftovers from the Silver Spoon -- giving Jim the opportunity to try out some of the dishes that he's planning to serve at the Larimer Street restaurant, which, by the way, will be run by both Jim and chef Frank Forbeau, who's spent the past six years cooking for metal band members involved in the Vans Wrapped Tours. "We wanted a rock star chef, and instead we got a rock star's chef," deadpans Jim.
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"What do you think about us doing a Wellington dog?" he asks, just before hanging up.
If you make it, they will come.