Openings and Closings

Epic Grills shut down, but one Fatburger remains standing

Late last summer, every Front Range location of Fatburger -- the California-based burger chain that has expanded nationwide since it first started slinging patties in the early 1950s -- abruptly parted ways with the parent company, becoming Epic Grill.

Montel Williams, Jack Hercher and Chris Dupuis, the franchisees who brought California's Fatburger to Denver and once had plans to build twenty locations in Colorado, had decided to go their own route, albeit without straying far from the burger concept. Cesar Castillo, manager of the Lone Tree location, told us then that not much would change: "We're the same guys, we just changed the name," he said. "We're doing the same stuff but with more: salads, sandwiches and all that stuff."

It didn't last long: All of the Epic Grill locations have now shut down, packing in the signs from the five restaurants that bore them.

In a bit of a twist, though, one of the original Fatburger spots remains standing: the manager at the outlet at 14221 East Cedar Avenue in Aurora tells us his restaurant never officially changed to an Epic Grill, so he's still serving burgers -- and the rest of the Fatburger menu -- under the chain's name, although this location of Fatburger doesn't appear anywhere on the corporate website.

But if you're craving Fatburger's particular brand of beef, that spot is likely your best bet if you're unwilling or unable to cross state lines.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk

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