Although the sign outside includes the words "Burger Drive-Inn," the Cordova family hasn't added a drive-up window. The name is actually a nod to Chubby's early history as a burger shop; Stella Cordova worked there before she bought the business and added Mexican food — like the signature atomic-orange green chile that has helped many Denverites stave off hangovers over the decades.
The new building, complete with actual tables and chairs inside, opened over the weekend to lines out the door. Even at 3:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon during a Broncos game (when these photos were taken), there was a line at the counter. Otherwise, not much has changed except for two new self-serve soda dispensers.
There's plenty of space for the late-night crowd, which will no longer have to jostle for elbow room while waiting for chile-cheese fries and Mexican hamburgers. And no more wolfing your Chubby's order in your car or attempting to down a burrito while walking home: That's what change and progress brings. But with that change comes a slightly less gritty, less unique Chubby's that will have to build its own character and mythology to match the original's fifty years of Denver fast-food history.