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Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery

The original Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery opened in 2014 on a revitalizing stretch of East Colfax Avenue and immediately earned our affections as well as our Best Fast-Casual Restaurant award for 2015. Like its older sibling, this Lowry outpost is not your normal fast-casual joint — at least not if your definition of fast-casual begins and ends with Chipotle. Run by Clint Wangsnes, a veteran chef with experience in Hawaii, Napa Valley and Miami Beach, the restaurant could easily moonlight as one of the trendy full-service spots that have taken over the city these past few years, with exposed brick as well as tables and booths crafted of wide-plank barn wood; even cocktails are batched and served with happy-hour nibbles such as sliders and hoisin-tamarind ribs. Wangsnes, however, decided to go in a more casual direction, adding an order line, glowing computerized menu boards and clip-on numbers to facilitate food delivery. And he did so because he wanted to serve a group that's barely tolerated, much less emphasized, by most restaurateurs: families, who deserve good food, too. And Chop Shop definitely delivers.

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