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Famous Dave's is smokin', with a new restaurant coming to Aurora -- with free ribs!

Famous Dave's may be a chain, with six locations coming to Colorado in as many years, but the latest restaurant opening in Aurora next month is out to prove that Dave's is more than just a corporate name.

"Technically, we are a chain restaurant -- but we are unlike any BBQ chain restaurant," says Joel Bryant, director of operations for the Colorado franchisee. "We smoke all our beef in-house that day or overnight, we make all our desserts from scratch in the kitchen. People really can tell a difference. It's not like we are pouring stuff out of a can and serving it to the guests. It takes a lot of time, a lot of love and a lot of BBQ-know-how."

Since Dave Anderson started his BBQ company in 1994, it's grown to about 180 locations across the country. Still, Bryant says, each Dave's strives to maintain the small-town restaurant feel of the original in Wisconsin, where Anderson reportedly used a trash can to smoke his meat and then served the meat on the lid -- a tradition the current Dave's kitchens proudly continues.

"First time to Dave's, you gotta go with someone, there is just so much food," says Bryant. "I recommend a Feast for Two, which has all the fixings." And, of course, it's served on a trashcan lid.

The restaurant at 15725 East Briarwood Circle in Aurora is set to open December 13. But you can get a taste of the place next Friday, November 26, and again December 4, when the pitmasters will be handing out free ribs in the parking lot starting at 11 a.m.