After a decade as one of East 17th Avenue’s most reliable sources of burgers, booze and kitsch — it's the home of Dreamgirls, Denver’s longest-running cabaret drag show — Hamburger Mary’s has been transformed into M Uptown.
Turns out that owners Jennifer and Jeff Kustok couldn’t come to a new franchise agreement with the Hamburger Mary’s chain, and decided to set out on their own — with minor changes to the spot's appearance and food while retaining its reputation as one of the brighter spots in Denver's gay community. “Even though our name is changing, everything else you’ve come to know and love about our company is staying the same,” says Jeff.
“Ten years ago the LGBT community received us with open arms, and we have never forgotten that," adds Jennifer. "Our name may be changing, but our commitment to the LGBT community is not.” That relationship has always been part of the restaurant's successful formula. There's fun on the menu as well as the stage, with deep-fried Twinkies and Snickers bars for dessert as well as those big, bad burgers. And in the summertime, that huge, boisterous patio is just as rollicking as the drag queens who stir up trouble on M Uptown’s main stage, hosting bingo or just lip syncing up a storm.
The place was transformed last Monday, as the staff donned new shirts emphasizing M Uptown's local emphasis and new decals were slapped over the the old Hamburger Mary’s name. The logo plays off the M design that adorns the restaurant's Club M space, which has long been used for private parties and events like Chris Parente’s Queerbots and Daniella DeCoteau’s Drag-Stravaganza shows. “The M is a nod to the last decade in business,” says M Uptown beverage director Christopher Maluck. “We plan to do a little painting, add a few new tables and chairs, along with a whole new granite bar top. If it ain’t broke, you don’t need to fix it. We pride ourself on our ten-year track record of providing good service, great food and drink, at a fair price, while delivering a one-of-a-kind experience to each of our patrons.”
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While M Uptown will remain open without missing a beat, those minor renovations should be done by spring — and in the meantime, it's open for brunch today. For more information, visit m-uptown.com.