So how did one lone Fatburger get to Aurora, and why is it the only one in Colorado? A trip to Vegas was the catalyst.
You can thank Colorado native Bart Greff for bringing in the hot, juicy burgers that fans consider the real champion of burger chains, rising above other regional competitors and creating burger memories to last a lifetime. In 2000, Greff had his first Fatburger experience while visiting Las Vegas, when his traveling companion insisted that they eat at the 24-hour Fatburger on the Strip. Already a successful restaurateur, he instantly fell in love with the burgers and the business.
Eventually, Greff signed on with an investment group headed by celebrity talk-show host Montel Williams, who brought Fatburger to Denver in 2003, opening five stores. But after several years, the group decided to break away from the parent company and changed the name of four of its stores to Epic Grill. And by 2012, every Epic Grill location had closed.
But the Aurora Fatburger never changed names, and Greff stepped up to the plate and did what he had to do to keep the remaining outpost open. Greff's Fatburger has been thriving since then, which the owner attributes in part to loyal team members who have worked there since it originally opened. Although Fatburger franchises have spread to many surrounding states, this one is still the only location in Colorado.
Greff has followed in Yancey's footsteps, keeping the practices that have created so many loyal Fatburger followers. The beef is fresh, never frozen, and your burger is cooked to order the way you want it — even offering a choice of cooking style: flat-top or char-grilled.The Double King burger with cheese, for example, is a monster with a bun five or six inches in diameter, and the beef patties extend beyond the bun all the way around. It's definitely a two-hander requiring your full attention, and Greff's version is every bit as satisfying as the Fatburgers I ate while living in Las Vegas.
Greff's burger joint maintains the retro vibe of the Fatburger chain, with comfy booths, padded bar stools, an inviting patio, and a proprietary music mix that blends classic R&B licks with more modern hits. There's even a jukebox if you want to create your own soundtrack.
The owner says his food philosophy is "Do it right or don't do it at all." And after sixteen years, this Fatburger is still as ship-shape and gleaming as on opening day. Greff is keeping it that way, he explains, because he hopes to some day pass the reins to his son to keep the restaurant as a family legacy.
Fatburger is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (and an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays). For more details, call 303-363-6996 or visit the restaurant's website.