Bad Daddy's Burger Bar is coming to Cherry Creek, moving into the former home of Tony P's, at 240 Milwaukee Street. Tony Pasquini had originally opened his restaurant there in early 2012 as Pasquini's, then changed the name because of a family dispute. This summer he closed the Cherry Creek spot altogether (he still has Tony P's spots in Uptown and Highland), and now the space is in the hands of a much larger Colorado-based chain: Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard.
Good Times plans to turn it into a Big Daddy's, an offspring of a deal cut with the founders of Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, a North Carolina company with four stores.
The Golden-based Good Times currently operates 39 locations, and is known around town for its kick-ass fresh-cut fries, green chile burgers and seriously good frozen vanilla custard. Over the last few years, Good Times has undertaken a remodeling program to refresh older stores and also closed four underperforming locations. According to Nation's Restaurant News, this summer the company bought a 48 percent equity stake in Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, with rights to expand the gourmet burger brand in Colorado, Arizona and Kansas.
Diversifying by investing in the relatively unknown Bad Daddy's is an interesting move for the company. Although Colorado sometimes seems saturated with burger restaurants, each chain brings something different to the table.
Unlike Good Times, Bad Daddy's is a full-service, sit-down chain -- in the same vein as the locally based chains of Smashburger, Larkburger and Red Robin. It was founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2007 by Dennis Thompson and Frank Scibelli; originally known as Big Daddy's, the company changed the name of the restaurants because of trademark issues. Under the agreement with Good Times, Big Daddy's founders will continue to operate the franchise under a management services agreement.
So what does this new kid on the burger block have to offer to Colorado?
In addition to burgers, the Bad Daddy's menu features starters, salads and desserts; some of the more interesting dishes are "Irish" nachos (French fries with Guinness beer cheese sauce, fried eggs, bacon and scallions); housemade potato chips with pimento cheese; the "Tree Hugger" salad with spinach, walnuts, strawberries, Mandarin oranges, grapes, pecans and red onions; an edamame-cashew burger topped with tzatziki sauce; and the signature "Bad Ass" burger with two beef and bacon patties, lettuce, tomato, buttermilk-fried bacon, horseradish mayo and English Cheddar cheese.
There's also a separate, gluten-free menu with salads, chili, desserts and burgers -- including a beef and bacon patty. Bad Daddy's locations also boast full bars with a wide selection of craft microbrew beers, scratch kitchens that source local ingredients, and a laid-back atmosphere that's "modern diner meets sports bar with an edge," according to baddaddysburgerbar.com.
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Mark Valente of Sanborn and Company handled the deal for Tony Pagliacci. The conversion of Tony P's to the first Big Daddy's outside of North Carolina is currently under way; watch for Cherry Creek's newest burger spot to open in a few months.