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John Hickenlooper, the "Aw Shucks" Governor, Lives Up to His Title at Jax

As gubernatorial activities go, John Hickenlooper's mission last night was only slightly less hazardous than negotiating an election-year truce with various fracking contingents. Both involved scary liquids, but in this case one far more delicious than the fracking fluid that Hickenlooper once bragged about swigging. Hickenlooper was back at his old stamping ground, at Jax Fish House in LoDo, to greet the crowd and shuck some free oysters for National Oyster Day. See Also: Sustainable Seafood at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar -- With Recipes!

Back in 1996, when Dave Query's Big Red F group opened the second Jax in what had been LoDo's Terminal Bar, Hickenlooper, a founder of the nearby Wynkoop Brewing Co, lived in the area -- and would come in frequently for a round of late-night oysters, Query remembers. (Hickenlooper also happened to own the parking lot next door where the vehicles of many Jax employees were broken into.)

Hickenlooper recalled those days as he addressed the crowd, reminding them that he'd been called an "aw shucks" politician, lauding Jax for being the only Colorado restaurant to subscribe to Seafood Watch standards, and then grabbing the knife and getting down to work. How did he do? Keep reading for the photographic evidence.

By the way, on an average week -- say, one when a governor isn't behind the raw bar -- the four Jax Fish House locations shuck a total of 15,400 oysters.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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