The first Park Burger opened in an underserved neighborhood in the middle of one of America’s worst recessions, with a simple menu that didn’t exactly undercut fast-food prices but appealed to families looking for a night out that wouldn’t break the bank. It was an instant success, and today is still packed to the rafters with toddlers and their parents enjoying quality burgers, beers and shakes in an atmosphere so casual it barely differs from home. Park Burger has parlayed that success into similar outposts in Highland and Hilltop, along with a slightly hipper version in RiNo. But none of this would have happened had it not been for one simple fact: The burgers are great, whether topped with a fried egg, bacon and bleu or more exotic options, and there’s also a standout vegetarian patty. Founder Jean-Philippe Failyau made Denver realize the value of the locally owned burger joint in an era of fast-food giants.