Openings and Closings

RIP: Conway's Red Top folds its tent in Colorado Springs

Another Colorado classic has reached the end of the line: Conway's Red Top, a family-run chain that's been slinging giant hamburgers in Colorado Springs since 1944, just closed the last of its three restaurants.

The chain was co-founded by the late Norbert Conway and became known for its giant burgers, featuring an eight-ounce patty stretched across a six-inch bun. (You could also order half-sizes.) Those burgers, accessorized by classic burger-joint ambience, earned Conway regular recognition from the Colorado Springs Independent and lovers of road food everywhere.

At one point, the Conway's chain had five locations in Colorado Springs and one in Pueblo. But the Pueblo shop closed last year, and by this summer, it was down to just three spots. The locations at 1228 East Fillmore Street and 3589 North Carefree Circle closed in in late July; the 390 North Circle Drive spot is now gone, too.

The Gazette reports that Conway's employees and family members painted messages on windows and doors of the Fillmore Street location: "Conway's will be missed -- Employees of Conway's Red Top" and "I (heart) CRT -- Sierrastorm, 3 yrs. of service" as well as "Conway Family thanks you" and "Conway's will be missed. Colorado Springs tradition since 1944."

Part of that tradition included a visit by then-presidential candidate John McCain, who stopped by a Red Top to fuel up for his campaign in 2008 -- joined by John Lynch and John Elway.

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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