There's a sign up at Chubby's at 1231 West 38th Avenue that reads "Open During Construction" — which is more or less true. But when we dropped in earlier this morning, that construction may have been the cause of a power outage that had employees scrambling. Another sign quickly went up: "Power Outage: Temp. Closed." So if you're heading over for a burrito, you might want to call first to see if the kitchen is back up and running.
So what's with the construction? Chubby's, which has been a Northside mainstay since 1967 and a takeout-only operation (unless you want to wolf your Den-Mex at one of the outdoor tables) over the past 48 years, is building itself a new home in the parking lot behind the original shop, according to BusinessDen.
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The new building will take up 3,200 square feet, allowing for a sit-down dining room, so in another six months or so, you'll finally be able to hang out and enjoy one of the city's most iconic smothered burritos or a Mexican hamburger, a Denver invention that Taco USA author and Mexican-food historian Gustavo Arellano called "the dish that best personifies the Mexican-American experience, a monument to mestizaje."
The new space will be a significant milestone for Chubby's, which was founded by Stella Cordova and is currently run by her grandson, Danny Cordova. Over the decades, other family members have opened other Chubby's locations — some even called the Original Chubby's — but the original original will continue to live on in its new digs. Stella Cordova lived to be 100 and would have turned 107 on April 20; here's her story and the complete Chubby's saga, as published in Westword in 2007.