"So who's got two thumbs and the keys to the first Biker Jim's restaurant?" read the text message from Jim Pittenger, who picked up the phone on the fist ring and answered with a "Yep. Jesus. Finally."
Pittenger, who already peddles two gourmet hot dog carts downtown, another in the parking lot of Argonaut Liquor, and will soon get an upcoming poetic wax on No Reservations, Tony Bourdain's travel series on the Discovery Channel, has been hunting for a restaurant space for more than a year.
And today he signed his first lease.
"I signed it less than 20 minutes ago," Pittenger told me, as he stood in the shell of his new space at 2145 Larimer Street, directly across the asphalt from Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria and next door to High-Rise. "I'm standing in here right now, more excited than a kid in a candy store."
"It's gonna be so cool, so fucking awesome, and we're gonna have a really, really good time," he sputtered, too wound up to exhale. The menu will be an expansion of the street cart board -- rattlesnake, elk, pheasant and wild boar brats coupled with a few burgers, "some really great sides -- French fries for sure, rice and beans, maybe a cassoulet pot pie -- and hell, maybe even a deep-fried filet mignon," reasoned Pittenger, who's champing at the bit at the mere thought of purchasing his first deep-fryer. "I can't wait to get my first deep-fryer so we can have fry-anything Fridays," where, announced Pittenger, he'll deep fry pretty much anything that he can get his hands on, including eggs. "I've always wanted to see what would happen if you threw an egg into the deep-fryer."
Pittenger, who also bakes cheesecakes -- awesome cheesecakes -- with his wife Karen, plans to hawk those, too, right alongside the deep-fried Snickers bars and corn dogs, all of which you can stuff in your gut in late September or early October, which is when he'll open the 1,900-square-foot space.
And when he finally flings open the doors, he'll serve lunch and dinner daily, and just to appease all you late-night locos, he'll serve the full menu until at least 3 a.m on Friday and Saturday nights; maybe even 4 if there are enough wieners out there who dig it.
"I can't tell you how good this feels, to have a fully decked out kitchen instead of a 24-inch grill and to be two blocks away from Coors Field. I have no idea how it's all going to turn out, but I'm crazier than shit exited," said Pittenger.