Griff’s Burger Bar is an old-fashioned drive-thru where you can still get a great burger, a greasy bag of fries and a drink for a five-spot ($6.99, if you want to go for a double cheeseburger, and it’s worth a little more to add a skull-splittingly thick milkshake). The first Griff’s was opened by H.J. Griffith in 1960 in Wichita, with the goal of selling “quality food at an affordable price,” according to the Griff’s website. “We are proud to say that Griff’s Hamburgers has never wavered from that commitment.”
But Griff’s is no longer committed to Colorado. The Griff's in Arvada is going, and the last local link in this burger-and-milkshake empire, the Griff’s at 742 South Broadway, will close this month; the hours have already been cut back from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The red-roofed building was already looking a little forlorn, and the pay phone out front — one of the last on the streets of Denver — appears more abandoned than ever.
Since they’ve heard the sad news, fiercely loyal Griff’s fans have been filling the drive-thru and the small dining area that fronts Broadway. They know that Griff’s time will soon be up; a notice from Griff’s of America vice president Harvey Fattig is posted on the door:
"We are sorry to announce that Griff’s will be closing our Colorado restaurants soon in order to consolidate and expand our operations in the 3 state region of Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico where we have operated the majority of our restaurants for over 50 years. It is regretful that we are leaving the Denver market but the geographical logistics makes more fiscal sense for the future growth of our company…Thank you for your loyal patronage these past 50 yrs. We hope to be back in the Denver market in the coming years with a stronger presence."
And they can’t come back a minute too soon for us. Because Albuquerque, home of the next-closest Griff’s, is more than six hours away.
So stop by this longtime hangout on South Broadway and say so long to Griff's. Soon.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.