Chef/restaurateur Clint Wangsnes just turned his duo of Chop Shop Casual Urban Eateries into a trio. The kitchen is now open at the new Englewood outpost at 3150 South Broadway.
The newest member of the Chop Shop family took over a former used car lot. Wangsnes points out that two separate buildings — a sales office and a mechanics' garage — were joined together to create the new restaurant space. There's not much left of the old business that's still recognizable, though, other than the brick facade where guests enter, and a neon "used cars" sign that Wangsnes salvaged.
The restaurant seats about forty customers inside, plus another 55 on the Broadway-facing patio. By taking over a car dealership, Chop Shop also inherited a parking lot, and guests can also utilize parking shared with Jalapeños next door.
Wangsnes and partner Christian Anderson offer Englewood the same upscale-but-affordable menu as at the East Colfax original, which opened in 2014, and the newer Lowry branch, which debuted in 2017. The kitchen specializes in sous-vide cooking, which helps keeps ticket times low while also making it easier to serve meats at a consistent temperature. That's how the chef and his team manage to serve meltingly soft short rib and juicy steak in the same amount of time while keeping entree prices in the mid-teens.
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While the menu is the same at all three restaurants, daily specials differ at each location. "It keeps consistency strong but allows us to be creative," the chef explains. Look for a new grilled chicken dish served on orzo with Mediterranean flavors of olive, preserved lemon and feta.
Anderson adds that keeping a good team together also creates a more consistent experience for guests. Keith Haddock is the new chef de cuisine at the South Broadway location, but he's moving from the Colfax Chop Shop, where he's already worked for several years. And Deana Wilson, who was Anderson's first hire in 2014, started as a cashier and is now the Broadway eatery's opening sous-chef.
Wangsnes and Anderson chose Englewood because of the city's growing restaurant scene and neighborhood feel. "Englewood's been really great," the chef notes. "You can call the building department and someone will actually pick up the phone. Denver is so backed up right now." Chop Shop also received a small grant from the city to help complete construction.
Chop Shop's South Broadway location is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and also offers online ordering for pickup, delivery and catering. Call 720-750-8130 for more details.